Oklahoma wasn’t a state known for earthquakes before fracking was introduced,
But no more.
Pumping a whole lot of water deep underground, laced with chemical to force oik and gas out of layers of shale turns out to be the perfect way to unloicked long-dormant faults.
As a result, the Sooner State may soon top California as the earthquake capital of the United States.
From teleSUR English:
Oklahoma has registered about 1,829 earthquakes in the past year, attributable to wastewater injection from deep underground drilling wells — wells that will likely multiply under an incoming Donald Trump administration.
The state saw a record-breaking year, with a 5.8-magnitude earthquake in September and 4.5-magnitude and 5.0-magnitude ones in November, after which the governor declared a state of emergency and the state to introduce new restrictions on injection wells.
The injection often comes from a byproduct of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which has more notably affected seismic activity in several quiescent oil-drilling states like Kansas, Arkansas and Texas, which recorded 1,225, 200 and 51 earthquakes last year, respectively.
Fracking uses large quantities of chemicals and produces large amounts of waste fluid, which contains pollutants and emits methane. The injection of the waste increases seismic activity, and the toxins directly affect local populations.
Fracking: A Lethal Cocktail for Soil
Payne, Oklahoma hosts at least 200 of the state’s 4,000 gas wells that use fracking, and resident Earl Hatley, a descendant of the Cherokee/Delaware tribe and founder of Local Environmental Action Demanded, told IPS that the toxins and emissions are too strong to keep living there. IPS also cites 685 scientific studies that show the impact of those emissions and water polluters on human health.
An investigation by FracTracker calculated that earthquakes in Oklahoma and Kansas are becoming about 330 feet deeper per quarter and 12.5 times more frequent since two years ago, from 44 quakes per quarter in 2011 to 551 the past two years. Payne experienced more than an earthquake a day in 2016, which Hatley said were rare until 2007.