3 Reasons Oklahoma Earthquakes Are NOT A National Security Concern

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Bloomberg News claims the recent spree of small earthquakes across Oklahoma is a national security threat, but besides an alarmist headline, the article itself doesn’t make a connection between the importance of America’s pipeline crossroads and quakes.

However, it turns out the quakes aren’t powerful enough to do damage, aren’t caused by fracking, and aren’t causing concerns for the national security establishment.

1: Oklahoma quakes aren’t powerful enough to do damage

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 actual damage to well-engineered structures like those containing oil at Cushing, Okla. The worst this kind of earthquake can do is to be felt “only by a few persons at rest, especially on upper floors of buildings” according to the United States Geological Survey.

2: Fracking doesn’t cause damaging earthquakes

“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) on its website.

The scientific consensus has long been that fracking doesn’t cause magnitude 3 and larger earthquakes … Fracking earthquake myths are so widespread that USGS actually maintains a “Myths and Misconceptions” section of its website to debunk them.

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.”

There has never been an injury resulting from an earthquake induced by wastewater injection.

3: Nobody in the national security establishment is concerned about this

To establish that the quakes have national security implications, Bloomberg quotes Clearview Energy Partners. Investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation revealed that Clearview has no links to any military or intelligence agencies.

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