Saturday, February 13, 2016

Oklahoma's Getting Fracked Over

Parts of Oklahoma were rocked earlier today by a 5.1 magnitude earthquake, which was centered near the East Campbell Gas Field in the northern part of the state. The earthquake was the second strongest quake ever recorded in the state, the strongest one being a 5.6 magnitude quake in 2011.

What makes the earthquake activity there significant is the role that hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," has played in damaging the state's geology. For big oil and gas corporations, fracking has been a very profitable way to force oil and gas deposits out of rock formations, despite the damage being done. Evidence shows that earthquakes in this historically non-earthquake prone part of the country are increasing, with an incredible two-and-a-half earthquakes per day of magnitude 3 or higher.  According to the Oklahoma Geological Survey, that's a rate 600 times greater than before 2008.  Seismologists are increasingly looking at the oil and gas industry's fracking methods as the source of the more frequent earthquakes, as well as the source of groundwater pollution.

With Republican "oil patch" politicians like Oklahoma's numbskull Sen. James "Sen. Snowball" Inhofe working virtually as paid employees of the oil and gas industry of their states, it may be a very long time before the fracking-caused earthquakes stop.

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