Environmentalists Finally Get Around To Blaming Washington DC Earthquake On Fracking

When the Washington DC earthquake news broke, several North Dakota readers emailed me to ask when it would be blamed on fracking. We here in this state made prosperous by an oil boom are well aware of the left’s jihad against hydraulic fracturing which has revolutionized oil production.

I wasn’t sure it would actually happen, but it did. And here it is in all of its zany glory:

Earthquakes in the nation’s capitol are as rare as hen’s teeth. The epicenter of Tuesday’s quake was in Mineral, Virginia, which is located on three very quiet fault lines. The occurrence of yet another freak earthquake in an unusual location is leading many anti-fracking activists (including me – they have just started fracking in Stratford, which is 40 minutes from New Plymouth) to wonder whether “fracking” in nearby West Virginia may be responsible.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of initiating and subsequently propagating a fracture in a rock layer, employing the pressure of a fluid as the source of energy. The fracturing is done from a wellbore drilled into reservoir rock formations, in order to increase the extraction rates and ultimate recovery of oil and natural gas and coal seam gas.

According to geologists, it isn’t the fracking itself that is linked to earthquakes, but the re-injection of waste salt water (as much as 3 million gallons per well) deep into rock beds.

Saying that fracking is linked to earthquakes is a bit of a stretch. There is a degree of correlations. Microscopic “earthquakes” so minor they cannot even be felt have been measured near fracking sites, but this is hardly new. These sort of minor earthquakes have been recorded near drilling sites (and mining sites, for that matter) for decades upon decades.

It certainly sounds scary to the general public to say that this process is “linked” to earthquakes. Because, as a former resident of the somewhat seismically unsound state of Alaska, there is nothing more upsetting to the human psyche than to have the ground itself start moving.

But this linking of fracking to earthquakes is sheer hysteria, driven less by environmental concerns than a desire to see fracking and the oil production revolution it’s set off halted.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • mickey_moussaoui

    I guess blaming the quake on AGW was too much of a stretch even for enviro weenies.

  • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

    Wow, that’s was a slow response compared to the conservatives who blamed the gays.
    I’ll email them and urge them to do a better job.

    • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

      I thought that the enviros were focusing on fracking as a major factor in STDs among gays.

    • mickey_moussaoui

      You are just cranky because Obama is against supporting gay marriage.

      • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

        He is turning out to be one of the best gop Presidents in a long time, isn’t he?

  • Dakotacyr

    one nut job who lives in New Zealand.

  • WOOF

     I blame the Irish and their infernal dancing.

    • Bat One

      Yeah, that’s right.  Blame the white guys!

  • JT

    Wait for this to be a segment on Talk of the Nation Science Friday…

  • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

    Of course this is BS, but IF there was anything to this it would tend to make me want to do more fracking around active fault lines.

    After all if you can trigger a minor earthquake to relieve the pressure building up to a huge killer earthquake it would be a good thing.  

  • Onslaught1066

    I don’t believe the cause of the Earthquake in VA can be connected to fracking.
    The faults in the east are far more stable than those in the west,.
    If fracking could cause an earthquakes so soon after beginning the process, “they have just started fracking in Stratford, which is 40 minutes from New Plymouth” then California should be rife with eartquakes (at least one every Saturday night) as Ellin-A$$ has been fracking goats in his basement on a regular basis for years and years.

    The evidence just isn’t there.

  • dms

    actually homeland security caused the earth quake ck it out and do some deep study

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