Fracking Causes Virginia And Colorado Earthquakes?

Yesterday, Colorado (where I am from) experienced an unnatural earthquake.

I was talking with my friend about it today.

My friend works in freight forwarding (which is an industry helping companies get their products and materials shipped around the world).

Friend: “I know. I read it on your blog already.”

Me: “Well, what do you think?”

Friend: “Oh. I didn’t read the whole thing on your blog… just looked at the pictures and read the end part about how fracking sucks. But do you know how big the oil and gas industry is? Do you know how much money they are making right now? They hire my company to do their shipping.”

And the last part was said with a tone of ‘If they stop fracking, they may stop needing to pay us to ship their equipment, which might mean I don’t have a job.’

Entrenched interests and huge support industries are keeping oil and gas the main players on the world scene. They are also the main groups with the money and resources to put their candidates into positions of voting power.

That is the challenge here.

  • Even though the oil pollutes rivers, streams, and the ocean (hello major oil spills all over the world)…
  • Even though there are alternatives for transportation and homes and businesses that pay themselves back in a short amount of time…
  • Even though it’s just a better idea for all of our health to invest in projects and products that aren’t detrimental to the planet…

People continue to support these things because at the end of the day, they only think as far as their job and their TV.

And in the end, oil and gas production affect us all.  Everything in the room around you right now, from the screen you’re reading this on to the chair you’re sitting in, was somehow constructed or brought to you through oil.

My friend is actually pretty worldly, and is open to learning about ways to change habits to be more in alignment with how the planet works.

So to hear that response from her was a great disappointment.

The last time Colorado experienced these kinds of earthquakes was in the 1960’s, when the United States Army was pumping millions of gallons of poison into the earth and lubricating fissures in natural faults.

It is my belief that yesterday’s quakes were caused by fracking.

In other parts of the world outside of the US, fracking has been directly tied to earthquakes.

So why is it, when there are unnatural earthquakes in 3 different places in the United States, on the same day, in the same places where fracking is happening, that there isn’t more being done to look at how fracking may be causing these earthquakes?

At least some people are looking at it.

According to geologists, it isn’t the fracking itself that is linked to earthquakes, but the re-injection of waste salt water (as much as 3 million gallons per well) deep into rock beds. Braxton County West Virginia (160 miles from Mineral) has experienced a rash of freak earthquakes (eight in 2010) since fracking operations started there several years ago. According to geologists fracking also caused an outbreak of thousands of minor earthquakes in Arkansas (as many as two dozen in a single day). It’s also linked to freak earthquakes in Texas, western New York, Oklahoma and Blackpool, England (which had never recorded an earthquake before). Industry scientists deny the link to earthquakes, arguing that energy companies have been fracking for nearly sixty years. However it’s only a dozen years ago that “slick-water fracks” were introduced. This form of fracking uses huge amounts of water mixed with sand and dozens of toxic chemicals like benzene, all of which is injected under extreme pressure to shatter the underground rock reservoir and release gas trapped in the rock pores. Not only does the practice utilize millions of gallons of freshwater per frack (taken from lakes, rivers, or municipal water supplies), the toxic chemicals mixed in the water to make it “slick” endanger groundwater aquifers and threaten to pollute nearby water-wells. Horizontal drilling and multi-stage fracking (which extend fractures across several kilometres) were introduced in 2004.

At least Arkansas has banned the practice, but when will the rest of the United States/world wake up and take notice?

Here are a few articles about yesterday’s earthquake and the ties between fracking and earthquakes/water destruction:

If you’ve been affected by fracking in your area (either with an earthquake or water quality), there is an attorney who would love to represent you.

Natural gas extracted unnaturally - through fracking

This video was posted almost a year ago from an “insider”. Talks directly about earthquakes and groundwater pollution from underwater bombs related to fracking.

Listen at seconds 1:05-1:10 where they glance over the “small amount of chemicals that aid in the fracking process”:

They also say that they are disposed of “according to state and federal regulations”. Effectively fracking hasn’t been investigated since 2004, in which water quality wasn’t even tested, but was deemed safe. The EPA is now “starting” another test. 7 YEARS later.

Watch this one below:

“As an extra precaution, a protective mat covers 2/3 of the drill site.”

Oh, I feel much better knowing that I’m 2/3 protected. And what is it that I need to be protected from? Oh, that’s right… the “small amount of chemicals”. Only you won’t tell me what those chemicals are or in what quantities they are being used.

Even if fracking isn’t responsible for the earthquakes:

  • Who thinks it could possibly be a good idea to lubricate faults under the earth when earthquakes are so massively devastating?
  • Who thinks it’s healthy for the planet or the planet’s people to inject methane and arsenic into the planet in the hopes of retrieving gas?
  • Why is it a good idea to potentially open up pockets of volcanic activity that have been dormant for millions of years?
  • How could it be a good idea to pump arsenic, sand, and benzene into the planet at a force that is highly unnatural, to extract from small pockets deep below, and then fill those pockets with millions of gallons of salt water?

Tell me this doesn’t look like a SERIOUS propaganda video from the 1940s. I love the “too cool and authoritative to question” computerish voice.

Congressional representatives have been quoted saying that this is safe and promotes jobs.

It may create jobs, but that doesn’t matter if it shakes the very ground we stand on.

This is not safe.

This is not healthy.

How do we get more awareness out about the problems associated with hydraulic fracturing?

All suggestions welcomed.

And just a little more food for thought:

Seismicity in the Oilfield

1996. Microearthquake analysis for hydraulic fracture process:

This is the study from 1996.

Locations formed elongated patterns extending up to 1 km from the stimulation well and trending N60°E, parallel to the known, regional fracture trend. The Cook’s Point seismic zone measured over 100 m in width, while long stretches of the Matcek seismic zone narrowed to 30 m or less. We believe that the width of the seismic zone reflected the density of conductive fractures and thus, the volume of the reservoir accessed by the stimulation. Indeed, production rates in the first year following stimulation were much higher at Cook’s Point, where we observed the wider of the two seismic zones.

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