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Fracking earthquakes...

There has been a lot of talk in the national news about fracking, and we aren't talking about "special time" for “Battle Star Galactica” geeks. Hydraulic fracturing (or fracking for short) is a process used in oil or gas drilling where water and other components are injected deep underground to fracture subterranian formations allowing natural gas to come to the surface. According to researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey, there has been a significant increase in earthquakes in the middle of the United States compared to previous years.
The U.S. Geological Survey reports that for the three decades until the year 2000, seismic events across the middle of the nation averaged only 21 per year. Then in 2009 events jumps to 50 per year, in 2010 they increased to 87 per year, and then in 2011 there were 134 reported seismic events. Some are pointing to fracking as the reason for the increase in seismic events across the middle of the United States, which historically has very few seismic events. However, scientists believe that these seismic events are perhaps more related to wastewater disposal underground than fracking.
“Our scientists cite a series of examples for which an uptick in seismic activity is observed in areas where the disposal of wastewater through deep-well injection increased significantly,” David Hayes, the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior, said in a blog post yesterday, describing research by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey.
According to Haynes, the seismic events across the middle United States are generally "very small" and rarely cause damage. He also notes that not all instances of fracking or wastewater injection cause seismic issues. Fracking injects contents such as water and some chemicals, into the shale formations within the earth. The point is to break apart underground formations and free natural gas trapped there.

Hayes added, "We also find that there is no evidence to suggest that hydraulic fracturing itself is the cause of the increased rate of earthquakes."
Bloomberg reports that much of that wastewater comes back to the surface and has to be disposed of. This is where the difference between hydraulically fractured wells and disposal injection wells comes into play. Disposal injection is taking the wastewater created from fracking and injecting it back underground.
Daniel Whitten, a spokesman for the America’s Natural Gas Alliance, told Bloomberg, "[There is] a difference between disposal injection wells and hydraulically fractured wells. There are over 140,000 disposal wells in America, with only a handful potentially linked to seismic activity."
However, he did point out that the industry is committed to monitoring the issue and working with authorities when there's a concern about seismic activity in an area. 

Source: Bloomberg

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By weskurtz0081 on 4/15/2012 10:33:34 AM , Rating: 2
What does consumerism have to do with drilling? Have you discovered a viable/affordable alternative to petroleum for creating plastics, fueling engines of all sorts, etc? Hell, I think most American's are all for not having to use oil/gas if we don't have to, but NO country has that luxury, not even the country YOU live in!

By JediJeb on 4/15/2012 8:02:57 PM , Rating: 2
viable/affordable alternative to petroleum for creating plastics

There is one of the big things nobody talks about when they want to reduce the use of petroleum. We can drive electric cars all we want, but they will use more and more plastics to make those cars, and all the other disposable and light weight products everyone uses without giving those a single thought.

Sure glass bottles are heavier,but they do not leach phthalates and BPA into their contents, and they can be recycled or even washed and reused. Also if they are put into a landfill they are inert compared to plastics that will break down and possibly contaminate the water system. How many other things could be done to save on petroleum usage. How about using metal instead of plastic to make computer/laptop cases, but wait, that would cost more money so no we can't do that. Even the "green" people who fight using coal, oil and such to power our lives will type out their blogs and such on a plastic computer, shave with a plastic disposable razor, use plastic combs and tooth brushes ect. There is just no way around using a lot of petroleum, well we could use soybean oil to make some of our plastics but then some would complain about using food for that.

Reducing our need for petroleum is not a simple thing, it is in fact a very complicated balancing act that will take a long time to do. Unless people are ready to revert most of their lifestyle back to what we had before the beginning of the 20th century it will take a huge leap in technology. We can return to using wood and natural textiles like leather,cotton, wool and linen for our furniture, clothing and other everyday needs, that is the easy way out. Just think, do you use plastic pictures for your water and other drinks or do you use glass or metal ones? Plastic plates and drinking glasses or porcelain and glass ones? It can be done, but everyone would need to make some definite life choices in how they live, even the ones who already think they are fighting the good fight.

By FITCamaro on 4/16/2012 9:06:02 AM , Rating: 2
Stop it! Stop using logic!

By Kaldor on 4/16/2012 1:04:46 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely! There is no room for logical common sense thinking anywhere on these articles....

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