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02 January 2012

FollowUp 2: "FRAC! Baby FRAC!"

U.S. Geological Survey map of earthquake Saturday 31 December 2011 at 3:05 PM at epicenter

New Years Eve in NorthEast Ohio featured a magnitude 4 earthquake.  The likely cause of the quake is the supposedly safe extraction of oil and natural gas by means of hydraulic fracturing.  CNN has more details.
State leaders have ordered that four fluid-injection wells in eastern Ohio will be "indefinitely" prohibited from opening in the aftermath of heightened seismic activity in the area, an official said.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director James Zehringer had announced on Friday that one such well -- which injects "fluid deep underground into porous rock formations, such as sandstone or limestone, or into or below the shallow soil layer," the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency explains -- was closed after a series of small earthquakes in and around Youngstown.
Then on Saturday, a magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck that released at least 40 times more energy than any of the previous 10 or more tremors that had rattled the region in 2011.
The dangers of fracking are well known.  Still, it is part of the theme of reducing regulations that Republicans are sounding.  Tainted water tables, earthquakes, and loss of surface vegetation are topics that I have covered in my earlier posts.  The companies that are drilling down to access the otherwise inaccessible petroleum are in full denial of any problems.
Ben Lupo -- CEO of D&L Energy, an independent natural gas and oil exploration, production and marketing group that is affiliated with the first well that was closed -- recently told CNN affiliate WKBN that there's full cooperation with experts, though he expressed grave doubts that the injection wells were to blame for the quakes.
"We have approximately 1,000 wells between Ohio and Pennsylvania and we've never had a problem ... with an earthquake or spill," Lupo said.
It is apparent that Mr. Lupo is a liar.  Fracking is not safe.  It must stop!

13 November 2011, Original Pedantic Political Ponderings post.
10 December 2011, FollowUp 1.

26 May 2012, FollowUp 3.

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