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Sunday, January 11, 2015

26 Earthquakes Later, Fracking's Smoking Gun Is in Texas

 So we know that boring down to the bedrock and pumping it full of fluid can cause earthquakes. And while it’s also admittedly rare that these quakes are felt by humans, this shows signs of changing. Could the (thus far) timid trembling give way to a full-on, grand mal seizure?

"There’s a monster lurking under Texas, beneath the sand and oil and cowboy bones, and it’s getting a little restless after a 15 million year nap. Shaking things up in the city of Irving, just slightly west of Dallas, where no less than ten earthquakes yesterday and today bring the total tremors to 26 since October in that town alone. Over 100 quakes have been registered in the North Texas region since 2008, a staggering uptick from just a single one prior that year. The Balcones Fault Zone divides the Lone Star State in half, loosely following the route of Interstate 35 and passing under Fort Worth, Waco, Austin, and San Antonio. And it’s not just a huge amount of human populations that sit on top of it. There are also thousands of fracking wells boring down in to the earth’s crust, pumping millions of gallons of water down with the direct intent of breaking apart what lay beneath.
Irving itself has more than 2,000 of these sites nearby, and some of the more than 216,000 state wide “injection wells” responsible for disposing of fracking’s wastewater byproduct are in close proximity. Located thousands of feet below the ground, these wells hold millions of gallons of chemically tainted h2o, and science has proven that the pressure and liquid combination can combine to “lubricate” fault lines. And that may well be what is happening in the Barnett Shale region around, yes, Dallas and Irving. Barnett Shale is the largest land-based gas field in Texas, with an estimated 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas just waiting to be hammered out of the ground and into your SUV’s tank. It’s a nearly bottomless potential bank account for corporations with the resources to drill and grind. But, as the people of Irving are now discovering, all of this poking and prodding is not without potential consequences. And it’s not just Texas. Poland Township in Ohio had 77 earthquakes happen last March that researchers have definitively linked to fracking, in a paper published just days ago. And British Columbia has the oil addiction shakes, too.''