U.S. Geological Survey confirms fracking causes earthquakes
When I talked with Mark Ruffalo last November – whose organization organization Water Defense is trying to bridge the movements working to stop mountain top removal, hydro fracking and tar sands mining – he said that we had entered the era of “extreme energy”. As supplies of conventional fossil fuels dwindle, we are employing increasingly extreme methods to extract energy resources from the earth.
I was reminded of Ruffalo’s comments today when I read this article, which discusses two separate studies confirming a link between the practice of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” and earthquake activity. Here is an excerpt:
Energy companies are increasingly using the technique across Canada, where there is already regular seismic activity and an ever looming threat of various sized tremors. The process involves blasting water, sand and chemicals deep into the ground to fracture rock to obtain oil and natural gas.
The U.S. Geological Survey is set to release its findings Wednesday that a “remarkable” increase of quakes in the U.S. midcontinent since 2001 is “almost certainly” the result of oil and gas production.
Opposition to fracking has ramped up since the release of the 2010 documentary “Gasland,” which shows residents of small town Colorado setting alight tap water they charge was soured by nearby oil industry activity.