Archive for earthquake

Told ya so, frackers: Ohio geologists see link between fracking, sudden burst of earthquakes

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frackers cartoon Clay Bennett

In a previous post, Frackers set sights on largest oil shale reservoir in US... near CA's San Andreas fault, I couldn't help but wonder how greedy Big Oil could ignore the terrorizing prospect of triggering the San Andreas Fault to erupt into The Big One. Apparently, the health of so many people and of our fragile environment means nothing to California frackers.

Did I just say "California frackers"? My bad. I meant Ohio frackers, too. Along with any other frackers, for that matter.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that in Ohio, geologists have found a connection between fracking and earthquakes. Clearly, they've been in contact with Captain Obvious. L.A. Times, previously:

"The process of reinjecting drilling fluids into the ground is thought by some to stimulate minor seismic activity around drilling pads, dubbed 'frackquakes.'"

Take it away, Captain Obvious:

obvious

Ohio geologists have found a probable connection between fracking and a sudden burst of mild earthquakes last month in a region that had never experienced a temblor until recently, according to a state report.

The quake report, which coincided with the state’s announcement of some of the nation’s strictest limits on fracking near faults, marked the strongest link to date between nerve-rattling shakes and hydraulic fracturing -- the process of firing water, sand and chemicals deep into the earth to eject oil and natural gas out of ancient rock.

Last month, Ohio indefinitely shut down Hilcorp Energy’s fracking operation near the Pennsylvania border after five earthquakes, including one magnitude-3 temblor that awoke many Ohioans from their sleep. [...]

They “believe the sand and water injected into the well during the hydraulic fracturing process may have increased pressure on an unknown microfault in the area,” the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said in a statement about the Poland, Ohio, operation.

You just know what frackers will do with the "unknown" word. How did former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld mangle it again? Oh yes:

And how did Hilcorp Energy mangle the truth again? Oh yes. They said they are “fully committed to public safety and acting in a manner consistent with being a good corporate citizen.” Because, hey, corporations are people, too, and they're the best corporate citizens EVER.

Sorry, Hilcorp, but you're no "citizen," but you are a disgrace. Hate to say we environmentally-aware types told you so about that whole "frackquake" thing, but well, we told you so. And don't get us started on climate change, the fracking chemicals that contaminate groundwater, and drought.

Speaking of which, if you've never seen Josh Fox's "Gasland," now's your chance. Our own lwdgrfx posted the entire video here.

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Wednesday Links

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linksImage: LGBT Nation

Miss. approves religious freedom bill that could allow anti-gay discrimination

Stephen Colbert Flawlessly Mocks Republican Heartbreak In Wake Of Obamacare Success

Kentucky isn't done enrolling people for Obamacare.

Disaster Declared After Chile Quake

Pilots Strike Grounds Lufthansa Flights

Spies At School: How the Secret Police Tracked My Childhood

Why I Lie to the Food Pantry

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Overnight: Haiti

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Hillside House in Haiti

Hillside House in Haiti


I've never been to Haiti and, in truth, have never read anything good about it.

I found an interesting passage in The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux about Haiti which made me look for videos about it to get an overview of what's happening there now, post earthquake.

Here's the passage:

From The Traveler's Tree by Patrick Leigh Fermor (in 1909:

The cane-field and savannah turned into the outskirts of the capital. Thatched cabins struggled into the country under the palm trees, and multiplied into a suburb, through which the road ran in a straight, interminable line. For the first mile or so, the town consisted entirely of rum shops and barbers' saloons and harness makers. Hundreds of saddles were piled up in the sunlight. Bits and bridles and saddle-bags hung in festoons. There were horses everywhere. ..... Old women, puffing their pipes, jogged along side-saddle. They had scarlet and blue kerchiefs tied round their heads in a fortuitous, rather piratical fashion, half covered by broad-brimmed straw hats against the sun. The sides of the road pullulated with country people chattering, drinking rum, playing cards and throwing dice under the trees. The air was thick with dust, and ringing with incomprehensible and deafening Creole. I felt I might like Haiti.

And here's a recent PR videos I found. (I will post others at a later date).

I'd love to hear from anyone who knows the Haiti of today, post-earthquake.

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Frackers are guzzling water supplies in drought states the way John Boehner guzzles booze.

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don't frack with our water frackers

Yesterday I posted one of my eleventy thousand posts on frackers (which is when water mixed with sand and chemicals is injected deep underground at high pressure to shatter rock formations to unlock oil and gas trapped inside), because fracking is a huge environmental issue that must be confronted head on. It was about how Britain joined the anti-fracking club: "Welcome to the desolate North. Now frack off."

In that post I included a video segment from The Rachel Maddow Show about the possible probable link to unusual and frequent earthquake activity associated with frackers and their little escapades. And let's not forget that fracking is linked to methane risks: “When methane concentrations are that high, water can bubble like champagne.” Salud!

Just when I thought my latest rant would be the last in a while, the Los Angeles Times gave me yet another reason to fill you in on how this idiotic toxic-pollution-for-big-bucks practice is messing with Mother Nature. Did I mention that there are droughts all over the place? And that frackers are guzzling water supplies the way John Boehner guzzles booze?

Colorado sure knows all about that, a state where "every drop of water is precious, another player has lined up at the spigot." L.A. Times:

According to the petroleum industry, most new wells in this country now use fracking to coax an average of 250 barrels of oil or 1.3 million cubic feet of natural gas from the ground per day. But that can't happen without water — about 3 million to 8 million gallons per well before extraction begins.

Last fall the Environment America Research and Policy Center estimated that at least 250 billion gallons of water had been used since 2005 in the estimated 80,000 wells in 17 states. Drought-prone Texas led the way with at least 110 billion gallons.

Good old Texas. Say it with me: Yee. Haw.

Now here's where Colorado comes into play:

The historic city of 95,000 [Greeley] about an hour north of Denver, along Colorado's fast-growing Front Range, has entered into a purchase agreement with oil and gas companies to sell off some of its surplus water to satisfy the thirsty fracking business, even though parts of the West are reeling from drought.

Big Greedy Oil and Big Greedy Gashats are forking out a whole lot of cash to get their hands on access to more, more, more. Some residents are all for it and are happy to sell their water rights directly to the oil and gas companies, because the opportunity for more income apparently takes precedent over the long term (and short term) health and welfare of their neighbors and the environment. Others are as furious and concerned as I am.

The Ceres report showed that as of January, 56% of the 39,000 wells studied that used hydraulic fracturing were in parts of the U.S. experiencing "abnormally dry to exceptional drought" conditions, said Monika Freyman, the study's author, who used federal drought-monitoring statistics to reach her conclusions.

The study also found that in 36% of the wells studied, there was significant groundwater depletion. And in Colorado and California, 97% and 96% of wells, respectively, were in regions with "high or extremely high water stress," she said... Colorado's oil and gas commission has predicted that as the amount of exploration and drilling increases, so will the amount of water needed.

The president of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Unions put it this way: The oil and gas industry could drive prices for water so high it would elbow out already-hurting farmers.

To make matters worse, per the Times, Gov. John Hickenlooper continues to support fracking, "even once reportedly sipping a bit of fracking fluid with an oil company executive to prove it was safe."

Yum, yum! Again I say, salud! Mm-mmm!

And while he's at it, Hickenlooper might want to take a sip of the chemically affected flaming tap water spewing from faucets where fracking is prevalent, as is depicted in the excellent film Gasland.

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Britain joins the anti-fracking club: "Welcome to the desolate North. Now frack off."

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fracking frack off smaller

Regular readers know that fracking (which is when water mixed with sand and chemicals is injected deep underground at high pressure to shatter rock formations to unlock oil and gas trapped inside) is the new F word at The Political Carnival. I write about fracking a lot (scroll), and for good reason. For instance, tap water in the form of chemically induced flames spewed from faucets where fracking is prevalent, as is depicted in the excellent film Gasland.

Did you know that fracking is linked to methane risks: “When methane concentrations are that high, water can bubble like champagne.” Mmm, yummy. Cheers!

And don't even get me started on climate change.

Rachel Maddow has been all over this topic and is currently exposing the possible (ahem, probable) link to unusual and frequent earthquake activity associated with intruding on Mother Nature this way:

oklahoma earthquakes fracking

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Today's Los Angeles Times front-paged a report about how "energy-hungry Britain" residents aren't too thrilled with the practice either; this despite Prime Minister David Cameron being a huge fan, "practically hailing as a miracle" the environmental mess the U.S. is creating in the name of keeping gas prices low.

But one activist, Hytham Chlouk, calls this so-called "miracle" "the selling of Great Britain." How right he is:

"This is the selling of Great Britain," Chlouk said, peering out from behind a pair of glasses and a mop of brown dreadlocks. "I don't want my beautiful country destroyed. I'd hate for it to be like some places in America that look like alien landing zones."

bingo2Here's how the British countryside looks now:

english countryside britain

Hence the obvious reason for blow-back:

The deep-seated hostility is rooted in peculiarly British characteristics and experiences. One is the near-religious reverence among many Brits for the countryside, which makes them especially zealous in driving away any threats to their "green and pleasant land" of hills and sheep and hedgerows, whose beauty has inspired poets and soldiers at war.

Then there were the literally jarring events of the spring of 2011, when two small earthquakes struck near the seaside town of Blackpool in northwestern England. The larger registered a mere 2.3 in magnitude, but the tremors were big news on this seismically docile island — and even more so after government-appointed independent experts concluded that they had been caused by a new fracking operation in the area.

Protesters (they prefer "protectors") call the fracking efforts "rapacious capitalism" and are carrying signs that say things like, "Welcome to the desolate North. Now frack off." Well done, mates.

"Their sole motive is to make profit. They're not here to provide a service or to give cheap gas," said Tim Williams, one of the few camp dwellers clearly older than 30. "We don't want the countryside to be industrialized.... Without the land, what do we have?"

Clear? Now bugger off, frackers, you sad arses are as mad as a bag of ferrets and you're giving everyone collywobbles.

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How DARE Los Angeles pass laws to "force" more earthquake safety measures?! Saving lives? Pushy, pushy, pushy!

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oyToday's Los Angeles Times had this headline: San Francisco OKs quake retrofitting for at-risk buildings. It caught my eye because we've done a lot of retrofitting here in the Los Angeles area, plus on a personal level, my family and I are huge San Francisco fans and travel there often. We're even thinking of moving there one day, and it would be reassuring to know it will be made safer.

And after having lived through countless L.A. quakes, I can attest that that kind of added security is more than welcome.

According to the article, property owners would be required to reinforce wood-frame soft-story buildings with parking garages or storefronts on the ground floor built before 1978.

Sounds reasonable. It's always a good thing to make every effort to be prepared, improve the structural integrity of buildings that people work and live in, and, you know, keep people alive.

Added benefit: More employment.

So as I'm reading this encouraging news, this caught my eye. Before you read the next part, grab some Pepto and a Valium:

Some landlords in Los Angeles remain firmly opposed to the type of retrofitting now required in San Francisco. Dan Faller, president and chief executive of the Los Angeles-based Apartment Owners Assn. of California, said he does not believe the government should force property owners to make upgrades.

"They're telling businesses how to run their business — after the city has already given approval to the building the way it is and after the owner has purchased the building the way it is. If they want to make a requirement like that, make the city pay for it," Faller said. "Don't pass a law that forces me to spend $100,000 on my building."

Damn that Big Government doing what it's supposed to do!

Why, if I didn't know better, I'd think that Los Angeles is... concerned! About safety! And lifesaving measures! And planning ahead! And even saving some of the money and effort that would be required to clean up after a disaster! In an earthquake-prone area!

Photo credit: Rolando Otero / Los Angeles Times

Photo credit: Rolando Otero / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 17, 1994: The collapse of the second and third stories onto the first story at Northridge Meadows apartments in the Northridge quake killed 16 people and crushed cars.

What could they be thinking?

face palm oy triple fail gop

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Here is an opportunity to impact a quarter of a million people in Haiti

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haiti lights 2

Here is an opportunity to impact a quarter of a million people in Haiti, via my friend J.R Gaillot (D), a recent Florida Congressional nominee and all around cool guy:

Over 330,000 people are still living in Tent Cities in Haiti since the devastating earthquake of 2010. There is no access to electricity and there are numerous factors to keep in mind. Safety, Commerce, and Education are the top 3.

Introducing the WakaWaka Light: The WakaWaka light is a solar power LED light that will allow Haitians to walk in safety.

Vendors to continue to sell their product, and students to study without the threat of dangerous kerosene lamps. Kerosene is so expensive and dangerous; many children are burned daily due to accidents.

For every light you buy, one is given to Haiti. Our goal is to donate 50,000 lights to Haiti. With an average family size of 5 the 50,000 lights will impact 250,000 lives.

www.wakawakalight.com

You can contribute online without buying a light. If you decide to donate for Haiti without purchasing a WakaWaka light, this is the easiest way to do so: https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/send-money-online

Email address: cherikay_sessions@yahoo.com (It will show you Ancheri Care Inc.) Put in the subject line: WakaWaka.

US $20.00 per light (or Can $20) a $20 donation gives one light to Haiti. This is for a good cause, and you can be among the 1st to get a solar charger for your Ipod/Ipad/Tablet/Android/Windows/Smartphone by visiting and help fund the new project here http://kck.st/VAWrLr and watch the video.

Help Light up Haiti. 

haiti lights

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