There is an earth-shaking mystery going around in Texas. Mystery? You bet! They are caused by fracking!
Fracking not only pollutes rivers but also triggers earthquakes in Texas! And that’s bad!
Since Nov. 1 2013, more than 30 small temblors have struck the rural area around Azle (pop. 11,000), and many residents are blaming the quakes on underground disposal wells, used to get rid of wastewater generated during the fracking and production process. Drillers inject the salty wastewater into wells a mile or two deep.
The tremors have ranged from 2.0 to 3.6 on the Richter scale, with nine measuring 3.0 or higher, according to U.S. Geological Survey. While frightening and felt by thousands of residents, none of the quakes so far has caused injuries or major damage.
Are the disposal wells causing the earthquakes?
There is no doubt! In Reno, which is near the site of active disposal wells and the suspected epicenter of the shaking, cracks have appeared in the walls and floor of the city council chamber. Some area residents blame the quakes for sinkholes on their property and stuck doors and windows in their homes.
Hydraulic fracturing has been blamed for various ills, including contamination of water wells. Yet geologists say it’s not the fracking, but rather disposal wells — which inject millions of gallons of water deep underground — that pose the greater risk of meaningful earthquakes.
A Science paper last July showed the rate of quakes (3.0 and larger) in the central and eastern U.S. has multiplied to about a hundred a year during 2010-2013, coinciding with the increase in fracking, which requires disposal wells. This compares with an average of 20 quakes a year from 1970-2000.
Read more here.