Feds: Fracking STILL Doesn’t Cause Significant Earthquakes

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Scientists have once again had to counter myths promoted by environmentalists that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is causing earthquakes around America.

“Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as ‘fracking’, does not appear to be linked to the increased rate of magnitude 3 and larger earthquakes” states the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The “controversial method of hydraulic fracturing or fracking, even though that may be used in the drilling, is not physically causing the shakes” USGS researcher William Ellsworth told the Associated Press.

The scientific consensus has long been that fracking doesn’t cause magnitude 3 and larger earthquakes … but media and environmental groups don’t like that particular scientific consensus and have decided to ignore it. Fracking earthquake myths from environmentalists are so widespread that the USGS actually maintains a “Myths and Misconceptions” section of its website to debunk them.

Earthquakes are measured on a logarithmic scale, and the difference between whole numbers on the scale is huge. A 9.0 quake can devastate a country, while a 3.0 quake generally cannot be felt.  A quake that registers 2.0 on the Richter scale releases 31 times less energy and has a shaking amplitude 10 times smaller than that of a 3.0 quake.  The kind of earthquake that waste-water disposal from fracking could potentially cause are several orders of magnitude smaller than the kind of earthquakes that can do any damage. There has never been a single injury resulting from earthquakes potentially induced by wastewater injection. 

When asked if fracking causes significant earthquakes, Dr. Matthew Hornback, a professor of geophysics at Southern Methodist University told lawmakers, “We’re not talking at all about fracking. In fact, it’s been driving us crazy, frankly, that people keep using it in the press.”

Despite the scientific consensus, environmental groups have tried to blame fracking for just about everything, including droughtsdrinking water contaminationflaming tap-water, poverty, income inequality, and even low sperm counts.

These objections have been all conclusively debunked by real science. 

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