Two recent reports on Ohio’s wastewater injection well program discredit chronic allegations by opponents of hydraulic fracturing. These include claims that the creation of such wells leads directly to earthquakes, and that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has neglected to establish proper regulations to keep Ohioans safe.
For years, water, or, more accurately, its scarcity, has been predicted to be the next doomsday scenario. In 1994, the American Philosophical Society published a book bearing the title: Is water our next crisis? In 2007, NBC featured: Crisis feared as U.S. water supplies dry up. More recently, in 2011, NPR did a story on Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power and Civilization—a new book in which the author posits: “water is surpassing oil as the world’s scarcest critical resource.” This year, a Business Insider (BI) report called “water scarcity problems” a “looming national issue.” In September, the Associated Press declared: “The water crisis is already here.”
Some people incorrectly think hydraulic fracturing — fracking — is responsible for the increase in earthquake activity in Oklahoma and Texas. Scientists, however, believe the quakes are caused by the use of underground injection wells to dispose of oil and gas wastewater. The increase in tremors spurred a coalition of scientists, regulators, industry experts and environmentalists to produce a 148-page report exploring why these earthquakes are occurring and how to prevent future incidents.
Gasland was many Americans’ first exposure to hydraulic fracturing, and the film sparked anti-fracking organizations around the country. These activist groups used the film in efforts to convince people that fracking is responsible for a whole host of environmental problems, including contaminated water supplies, overuse of water, and even earthquakes.
Despite the fact that the science doesn’t support the thesis, opponents of oil-and-gas extraction, like Maddow, have long claimed that the process of hydraulic fracturing is the cause of the earthquakes. Earthworks calls them “frackquakes” because the quakes, the organization says, are “fracking triggered earthquakes.”
Anti-fracking groups are trumpeting a new study published in Nature Communications as a smoking gun supposedly proving hydraulic fracturing has been causing earthquakes in Texas and Oklahoma. This is just another case of activists being informed on a subject just enough to be dangerous.
The president of the Space and Science Research Corporation, John Casey, is also the author of “Cold Sun: A Dangerous ‘Hibernation’ of the Sun Has Begun!” and has called attention to a meteorological cycle that until the global warming hoax occurred, was largely unknown to many people and, to a large degree still is.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Research Fellow Isaac Orr and Research Fellow Bette Grande discuss earthquakes and their relationship with hydraulic fracturing. Grande also gives the listeners an inside look at the state of oil production in North Dakota as a result of low oil prices.
Robert W. Felix borrowed from the poet Robert Frost for the title of his book, “Not by Fire, But by Ice”, first published in 1997 and devoted to the science of magnetic reversals and the Earth’s ice ages. I read it first in 2010 and was absolutely floored because Felix makes a very strong case for a reversal that would lead to a widespread extinction of life at some point in the future. In the near, more predictable future, he said the Earth was heading into a new ice age.
Ohio sits above the Utica and Marcellus shales, two geologic formations that have rich energy potential waiting to be unlocked by the process of hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as “fracking.” Increased energy production has the potential to be a powerful economic engine for unemployed Ohioans, but the debate over hydraulic fracturing has served to highlight the natural and political fault lines running through the state.