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Johnson begins: "The controversial natural gas fracking process that has driven an explosion of natural gas drilling across the nation caused a dozen earthquakes in Ohio, state regulators confirmed."

Floor hands connect sections of steel pipe at a natural gas well-site where hydraulic fracturing is used. (photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)
Floor hands connect sections of steel pipe at a natural gas well-site where hydraulic fracturing is used. (photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

Confirmed: Fracking Caused Ohio Earthquakes

By Brad Johnson, ThinkProgress

10 March 12


he controversial natural gas fracking process that has driven an explosion of natural gas drilling across the nation caused a dozen earthquakes in Ohio, state regulators confirmed:

A dozen earthquakes in northeastern Ohio were almost certainly induced by injection of gas-drilling wastewater into the earth, Ohio oil and gas regulators said Friday as they announced a series of tough new regulations for drillers.

Among the new regulations: Well operators must submit more comprehensive geological data when requesting a drill site, and the chemical makeup of all drilling wastewater must be tracked electronically.

In addition to requiring well operators to submit complete geophysical logs, the new requirements intended to avert fracking quakes include:

  • Future injection into Precambrian rock will be banned, and existing wells penetrating the formation will be plugged.

  • State-of-the-art pressure and volume monitoring will be required, including automatic shut-off systems.

  • Electronic tracking systems will be required that identify the makeup of all drilling wastewater fluids entering the state.

Republican presidential candidates have mocked concerns about fracking. Mitt Romney has called the EPA "out of control" for its modest efforts to increase fracking oversight and Rick Santorum calls hydrofracking the "new boogeyman." your social media marketing partner


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+58 # genierae 2012-03-10 18:36
Here in the part of Ohio where I live there have also been a couple of quakes, but our town paper is Republican, so anything critical of fracking is quickly hushed up. It is sickening to see the mad rush to sell drilling rights with no thought for how it's going to affect the environment. These oil and gas companies are taking advantage of a bad economy to prey on unsophisticated people, who haven't thought things through. They don't realize that this is not their grandfather's kind of oil well, fracking wells are much larger. And what about the neighbors, this will be very loud, with lights all night long. This is a beautiful area, and it breaks my heart to see it trashed by these vultures, and think of all the wildlife habitat that will be destroyed. I truly believe that anyone who puts profit ahead of a clean, safe environment is mentally insane. Man is the only creature on earth that doesn't live in harmony with his environment, the only one that fouls his own nest.
+23 # Nominae 2012-03-11 01:14

Elegantly stated. As a chemically sensitive individual, I was forced to leave our family held ranch in Wyoming, and remove to another State when the frackers came barging in.

In addition to the round-the-clock noise, there are the accompanying floodlights, there is the constant (also round-the-clock ) 18 Wheeler traffic (back and forth) on very narrow dirt and gravel roads. So, welcome to noise pollution, light pollution and air pollution, and that is even before any drilling starts.

In addition, one can see the futility in refusing to allow drilling on *your* land when your neighbors are panting over the "oil money", and welcoming the drillers to *their* land. When drilling commences on the neighbor's land, you are forced to live in the same air, and to access the same water table that they do.

In my case, the oil boys decided to drill on the neighbor's land, but just across the dirt road from our house, such that I could sit up at night and read a book via the light from the drill rigs.

While I miss my family, I now frequently call them from my new location here in New Mexico. I will be here until the frackers catch up with us down here (they are fighting for permits even as I write).

Then, I am once again "on the run", but I have to say, that prairie, mountains, forest, or whatever, I have yet to find an environment not "under the extraction industry hammer".
+8 # genierae 2012-03-11 09:37
We have a wildlife preserve nearby, the land was donated, but the mineral rights weren't. And so now this land, filled with exotic animals from around the world, has been leased to be fracked. They say this will not bother the animals, I say they are nuts. I'm sorry that you had to leave your home, I hope that sanity will prevail before your new home is invaded by these money-grubbers.
+20 # Ralph Averill 2012-03-11 05:30
My biggest concern is aquifer contamination. I live in a rural area also. Everyone gets their drinking water from wells, either individual or from tiny cooperatives serving ten or twenty users. Although gas wells are considerably deeper than water wells, it may be only a matter of time before before the fracking water begins to contaminate drinking water. Water, especially fracking water injected under enormous pressure, can travel great distances underground. Earthquakes, manmade or natural, could create vertical fissures speeding up the process.
Earthquakes are short-lived, individual events. Poisoned ground water lasts for millenia, and the ramifications are impossible to predict.
+14 # LeeBlack 2012-03-11 11:55
The risk can be evaluated by the amount of money being spent by the industry to tell us how safe it is.
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-11 20:35
Pa here and our GOP refuses to drink the chemicals used.. how come? We have a community with their water blowing up like in west. Governor Corbett stopped the Fracking Companies from transporting water to Dimmock Pa but he isn't drinking the water.
These creeps really do not care about their kids or future of their own no less ours.
+27 # psadave 2012-03-10 21:02
Worried about a drilling technique invented by Halliburton? Concerned about the secret formula of carcinogenic chemicals in millions of gallons of water? The quakes in Ohio aren't strong enough to cause damage. No worries...the free market will take care of everything! People are making money from selling land rights and setting up wells in their back yards. If there are any problems, the companies will be sued and go out of business. Then the people will have lots of money to cover the medical expenses. Especially if a republican gets elected president and they take over the senate. They can get rid of contraception and repopulate if too many people die of cancer from the poisoned water. Capitalism forever!
+28 # Majikman 2012-03-10 21:12
Adding further insult to injury, oil and gas are part of the TOP 10 US exports.
We are sliding down the slippery slope to 3rd world status where our resources are being plundered by int'l. corp.'s to be sold on the world market.
But that's fine with the Greedy Old Pigs.
+10 # Babe 2012-03-10 23:07
Maybe the "unsophisticate d" people in Ohio will start getting scared, and demand that fracking end after they have a 5.6 earthquake. I experienced such a quake several years ago, and even at that level, you get the feeling that maybe it will never stop--and may even wonder if it's the end of the world. It's interesting that whenever people do something to the earth that is wrong; Mother Nature always fights back.
+5 # genierae 2012-03-11 09:26
Planet earth has run out of patience with mankind and she is quite capable of ridding herself of us if she so decides. The warning signs are growing in severity, it's just a matter of time. I think that we will wake up before the tipping point is reached however. There's a new brisk wind blowing, rousing millions from their sleep, and they will not be denied.
+6 # Glen 2012-03-11 07:38
Most comments here relate the issues with fracking nicely. In our state, fracking began without the knowledge of most state citizens. A number of landowners in the area were elated to have the money, until fracking began, followed by earthquakes. The game and fish commission set up a flack catching phone line to answer questions and deflect criticism and worry. After endless tremors, the fracking was halted. Damage was already done, however.

I suspect the same is true in Ohio and a number of other states. Even with information available concerning fracking, many citizens don't even realize it is happening in their own state. Has nothing to do with maybe being "unsophisticate d".
+6 # genierae 2012-03-11 09:14
By unsophisticated I meant that these people are unsuspecting of more complex schemes, they think in basic terms of "I need money, and everyone else is doing it, so it must be okay". They want that money very much, and they are conditioned to accept superficial assurances from their governor, who is Republican, and their town newspaper, which is also Republican, that fracking is safe. They are not deep thinkers, for the most part, if they were, they wouldn't be selling out their precious land. They are unsophisticated , and there's no "maybe" about it.
+2 # ENetArch 2012-03-11 16:54
Yes, it's true, the free market economy should take care of itself. Esp when the Republicans are in power (Senate, Congress, and Presidency), they will pass laws limiting the damages individuals can sue companies to clean up toxic spills and increase cancer or other health problems, since America runs on Trickle Down Economics.

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