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

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.

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