Last week it was widely reported in the media that a USGS report had linked hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to earthquakes, but is that what the report really said? Not really, according to Steve Everly from Energy In Depth.
I interviewed Steve about that USGS report, and one of the first points he made was that the USGS had linked waste water disposal wells to earthquakes, not fracking. While the waste water in question is from fracking, the disposal of it is an entirely different procedure that falls under separate regulations from fracking.
Some other interesting points Steve made:
– This link between waste water wells, which are used to dispose of the water used in fracking under ground, and earthquakes isn’t new. It goes back to the 1960′s.
– While “earthquake” is a scary term, the quakes linked the waste water wells aren’t dangerous.
– If it turns out that waste water wells are causing earthquakes, there are a lot of things the industry can do such as changing the way they pump water into these wells to recycling and re-using the water.
In short, there’s not a lot of cause for alarm in this USGS study. There is, however, a lot of political reasons on the environmental left to try and manufacture alarm and hamstring fossil fuel production.