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For the First Time, Scientists Prove Fracking Caused an Earthquake Strong Enough to Be Felt by People

Fracking work site

CREDIT: AP PHOTO/KEITH SRAKOCIC

For the First Time, Scientists Prove Fracking Caused an Earthquake Strong Enough to Be Felt by People

A series of 77 earthquakes in Ohio — including one strong enough to be felt by humans — was caused by the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, scientists claimed in research published Tuesday in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA).

Small earthquakes have been attributed to fracking in Ohio before. But those earthquakes were all too small to be felt. Tuesday’s study is the first time scientists have attributed a larger earthquake to fracking, the process of injecting high-pressure water, sand and chemicals underground to crack shale rock and let gas flow out more easily.

— Emily Atkin, Climate Progress

About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.

8 Comments

  • Mining the earth in any significant fashion affects it and must, seems to me, therefore be managed with the effects in mind. Technology and food, to name two, aren’t free. But they are needed if we wish to persist past the inevitable demise of our happy home planet. Our politics through which we manage such things, need to be more thoughtful … But given our species, no bets on that!

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. Sadly, our politics are beholden to Big Money.

      In theory, when the government protects Big Money profits, the corporations should be creating good jobs. But the trickle-down theory hasn’t played out.

      Maybe Big Corporations should be required to return something tangible to society, like building parks or creating tiny houses for homeless people. (That at least, would create some jobs.)

      Back to the point of fracking, imagine if fossil fuel companies had to actually clean up their mess. That would require forward thinking, research and development, and employ a lot of people to do the work.

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