Shaky Ground (Part 2 in a series on fracking)

By Jonathan Barnes

Because of the Feb. 27 quake and others in the area around Greenbrier, Sam Lane, a 29-year-old electronics store manager, started looking into the possible connection between fracking and earthquakes. He did his own stud

y of earthquake data and three Arkansas injection wells not far from his hometown. One of the wells had an identical pattern as the earthquakes and a second showed a strong correlation between injection occurrences and earthquakes. Experts aren’t sure if the wastewater is putting pressure on the fault, or if it is getting into the fault, Lane said.

Scientists haven’t proven a link between fracking and the 5.6 Richter earthquake that rocked the area east of Oklahoma City in early November, but some are suspicious.

“Seismicity in that region has increased dramatically. It really has skyrocketed,” said Arthur McGarr, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA. “If the Oklahoma earthquake turns out to be from oil or gas action, it likely will be of concern… Where there’s a lot of gas production, there’s been a notable increase in seismic activity.”

[Continue reading…]

Shaky Ground (Part I in a series on fracking)

by Jonathan Barnes

“Fracking,” also known as “hydraulic fracturing” refers to “the forcing open of fissures in subterranean rocks by introducing liquid at high pressure, especially to extract oil buy generic viagra online or gas.”discount fracturing” target=”_blank”> Oxford Dictionaries.

Sam Lane was watching TV and his wife was in the bedroom with their two-year-old son when the earthquake hit. The house shook so violently his wife grabbed their son and she and Sam ran for the door.

The Feb. 27, 2011 quake registered a 4.7 on the Richter scale and was the largest in Arkansas since the 1960s. Lane is a resident of Greenbrier, population 6,000, and he has seen his hometown, which is a bedroom community of Conway, Ark, change drastically since the area began having earthquakes in mid-February 2011. The quakes were so frequent that he took all of the pictures and mirrors off the walls of his home, because he feared they’d fall and hurt someone.

By March of last year, Stop Arkansas Fracking, of which Lane is a member, had been formed. Even with the pressure put on natural gas drillers by the advocacy group, there have been more than 1,000 earthquakes in the state, and they continue.

Across the country, critics of hydro-fracturing—the process by which energy companies force natural gas from deep underground and often force the used wastewater from the process thousands of feet back into the ground to discard it—are increasing in numbers. Critics say because of fracking, they’re living on shaky ground. The naysayers include rural retirees whose water wells were ruined, parents transformed into activists, scientists and others.

While proponents say fracking can help solve America’s energy

woes, evidence is accumulating that there are environmental

problems with the process. [Continue reading…]