The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released a report on April 23, 2015 outlining evidence of “sharply increased” seismic activity due to human activity – “fracking” to be precise.
DEFINITION of ‘Fracking’
A slang term for hydraulic fracturing. Fracking refers to the procedure of creating fractures in rocks and rock formations by injecting fluid into cracks to force them further open. The larger fissures allow more oil and gas to flow out of the formation and into the wellbore, from where it can be extracted.
Slick assertions by fracking advocates, paint rosy pictures of harmless and inconsequential necessity. Common sense dictates otherwise. Last year Oklahoma had more magnitude 3 or greater earthquakes than California. Oklahoma, by far the banner state for “human” triggered seismic activity, went from an average of 1.5 shakes per year in 2009 to 2.5 a day in 2014.
Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado and Ohio all reported increased seismic activity associated with industrial activity – translation, fracking.
Contained in the USGS official announcement…
“Earthquake activity has sharply increased since 2009 in the central and eastern United States. The increase has been linked to industrial operations that dispose of wastewater by injecting it into deep wells”
Fracking involves more than increased seismic activity – much more than an estimated 72 trillion gallons of water a year. Ponder 360 billion gallons of chemicals – formaldehyde, methanol, hydrochloric acid to name a few. Roughly half of this chemical sludge is recovered, taken by tanker or pumped into open pit pools to evaporate. Final “disposal” requires nothing more than a burial – groundwater, wells, agriculture of little consequence.
An article posted last September on conservative website American Thinker made me laugh. The headline – “The Science Is Settled:Fracking Is Safe” illustrates the sorry state of right wing wisdom. The first paragraph, managed in a few short sentences to take a jab at climate change, declare fracking safe, followed by “end of discussion”. Citing the National Science Foundation, Duke University and “others”, the article stated extensive research examined 130 wells, concluding that only a “subset of cases” – 7 wells in Pennsylvania and 1 in Texas (faulty construction or cement) polluted groundwater. There are over 500,000 wells in America – using the ratio of 7/130, that’s over 26,000 environmental disasters. The rest of the article just made me mad – linked below if you can stomach nonsense about how over 1 million frackings resulted in an infinitesimal 7 screw ups – they “examined” 130 wells, holy crap.
If the world was perfect, each and every one of these nincompoops would be forced to live in a community beside a fracking site.
Fracking is a bit like dynamite fishing. It works really well but it is outrageously primitive and destroys so much that it is pointless.
From a technology perspective, I have no doubt that we could accelerate the development and deployment of renewables and alternative clean sources to a massive scale in a decade. If I wasn’t a Buddhist at heart and accept that all is illusion, I could get quite worked up about the fact that the problem isn’t technology but politics.
Fracking is about political independence from the Middle East for our energy. Insistence on fossil fuels is in the pockets of the oil lobby and the buddies they put in government. If politicians would be honest and put oil and nuclear on a comparison chart, they would fix the nuclear downsides and shut every oil well in existence.
But I’m a Buddhist at heart and the lotus flower inside me is looking to a few green kids to turn water into light. In the long run the oil dudes will die out with their fracking wells. Here’s to youth and future.
Wish I possessed your inner Buddha – I need to focus my energies on a positive future. I understand why we frack yet question the rational for being so stupid. As you pointed out – there are perfectly reasonable alternatives. Damn politics.
I read parts of the original report and what I find astounding is that business is allowed to continue and accelerate their use of this process. It seems we have to fall off the cliff anymore before someone is willing to say that there might be reason to take a stand for Mother Earth. Surely we will destroy this planet instead of care-take it.
Wouldn’t the area where they’re working be naturally prone to earthquakes for this to happen?