Archive for earthquake

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


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:


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.


Wednesday Links


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


Overnight: Haiti


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.


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


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.