Multiple Media Outlets Incorrectly Connect Oklahoma Earthquakes to Fracking

It was to be expected, but it is still odd to watch.  After scientists concluded that a 2011 Oklahoma earthquake was caused by injection wells for conventional oil and gas operations - in other words, injection wells that had nothing to do with any fracking - it was to be expected that environmental groups and sensationalists in the media would ignore those facts and report that fracking is tied to the earthquake.

For example, Quartz had this headline:

Forget climate change, now we have to worry about fracking earthquakes



Fracking's Latest Scandal? Earthquake Swarms



Just in an attempt to inject some fact below those misleading headlines:  the fact that injection well disposal can cause earthquakes is not new news.  Studies have concluded as much for some time now, and here in Ohio we have seen new regulations put into place within the past year to provide protection against the possibility of such seismic activity.

Also, it should be noted that this new theory about this particular Oklahoma quake being caused by injection well wastewater disposal is just that: a theory.  The Oklahoma Geological Survey has already previously concluded that the quake occurred as the result of natural causes.

Is it fair to say that injection wells are often used for fracking waste disposal, and thus make the connection that increased fracking activity equals increased injection well activity equals increased risk of earthquakes?  That is certainly something that can and should be discussed, but to go farther than that in reporting on this particular earthquake in Oklahoma and attempt to link it directly to fracking is just plain wrong.

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