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Friday, July 12, 2013

More Reports Falsely Say New Studies Link Fracking to Major Earthquakes

Media reporting on new study is missing the facts
From RealClearEnergy:
The study particularly singles out sites in Oklahoma where there are large wastewater repositories from oil and gas drilling. In one case it also claims to be able to attribute a larger earthquake that occurred ONE-AND-A-HALF-YEARS LATER to the aftereffects of a major earthquake that occurred in Chile a year-and-a-half before.
The report says ABSOLUTELY NOTHNG ABOUT FRACKING except that the new fracking technology has led to the creation of a few new wastewater wells that may be having the same effect as the conventional oil-and-gas repositories  that have been operating for decades. In fact the report SPECIFICALLY SAYS THAT THE TECHNIQUE OF FRACKING IS NOT IMPLICATED. Fracking pumps only relatively small amounts of highly pressurized water into shale rock in order to loosen the oil. That is not the problem. It is the much larger WASTEWATER REPOSITORIES common to all oil and gas drilling (and some other technologies as well) that are implicated.
Now let's look at some of the headlines that have resulted from this report:
"Fracking and energy exploration connected to earthquakes, Say Studies." (NBCNEws)
"Fracking may leave fault lines vulnerable to earthquakes" (Telegraph)
"Fracking Linked to Earthquakes, study finds." (The Raw Story)
"New Study Claims Fracking Leads to More Earthquakes" (AtlanticWire)
"Study: Fracking Sites Vulnerable to Quakes Occurring Thousands of Miles Away" (Wired)
"Distant Earthquakes Linked to Problems at Fracking Sites Closer to Home" (AllGov)
"Fracking Wastewater Disposal Linked to Remotely Triggered Quakes" (National Geographic)
"Confirmed: Fracking Triggers Quakes and Seismic Chaos" (Mother Jones)
Now the interesting thing is this. The second study, by Emily Brodsky at Santa Cruz, SPECIFICALLY LINKS A CALIFORNIA GEOTHERMAL WELL TO AN EARTHQUAKE INCIDENT. In fact, is has long been known that geothermal wells increase earthquake vulnerability.
You can also add Bloomberg, MSN, and UPI to the list of outlets incorrectly reporting on the study, with Bloomberg saying the study looked at 3 sites where wastewater from fracking was injected (that was not the case) and MSN  and UPI directly saying that they study links fracking to major earthquakes.  Oddly, UPI even goes out of its way to include the possibility of fracking polluting groundwater in its headline, even though the study being reported on is not even remotely connected to anything having to do with groundwater contamination claims.

Read the rest of quoted article from RealClearEnergy by clicking here. 

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