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Fracking a Catalyst to Earthquakes…

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This article ‘Fracking a ‘Catalyst to Earthquakes’ looks at the link between fracking and earthquakes:

I also have an article which looks at the basics of Fracking and tells you more about what Fracking is and how its done.
T
he other article is titled ‘Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet poll shows Fracking not in Favour!’ (in the link below):

Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet Poll shows Fracking not in Favour!

Fracking a Catalyst to Earthquakes

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Fracking is a catalyst to Earthquakes and this is evident in a rise in seismic activity in places like USA’s – Oklahoma where earthquakes have been occurring on a much larger scale; than before Fracking had begun for oil and gas, so much so that Oklahoma now sees more Earthquakes than anywhere else in the world. The most recent happening on the 30 December 2015 with a magnitude of 4.3, followed the next five days by aftershock/tremors with a further threat of more to follow. As a result 4,400 residents were left with no electricity and caused damage to the properties.

The United States Geological Survey says that more Earthquakes are to be expected as a major fault may have been re-activated by the Earthquake and that as a result this may result in further 4.0 and more magnitude earthquakes.

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Oklahoma went from two earthquakes a year before 2009 to two a day. This year, roughly 700 earthquakes of magnitude 3 or higher has shook the state, compared to 20 in 2009.

In August 2015, Oklahoma Governor – Mary Fallin admitted there was a “direct correlation between the increase of earthquakes that we’ve seen in Oklahoma [and] disposal wells.”

The latest 2015 figures for Oklahoma, show that fracking has become common, state authorities issued a report saying that the state has experienced 585  (magnitude 3+) earthquakes in 2014 compared to 109 events recorded in 2013. Oklahoma has more earthquakes in 2015 than all of continental U.S. combined. Earthquakes are hitting in swarms, and it has been reported in America that in Oklahoma no one apart from concerned residents is taking this seriously.

The disposal wells are a particular problem as the waste fluids pumped underground seems to be causing the ground to form faults and displace the stable earth to an unstable state leading to these Earthquakes.

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Honn Kao, a research scientist with Geological Survey of Canada said of this pumping of fluid, “In theory, a bigger injection of fracking fluid can certainly trigger a bigger quake.”

At the moment there is not much concern about the Earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or under it is only when it reaches 3.5 magnitude that regulators have suggested shutting down the fracking operations and re-locating to a new location. There should be some serious concern for these smaller magnitude quakes too.

A lady from Oklahoma said of the multiple Earthquakes – “I live in Medford and my husband is a handy-man and we can tell you that these little quakes do cause damage. Doorways are askew, cracks are appearing and growing, and parts of houses are sinking!” she also said “The Oklahoma Corporate Commission refuses to fine these wells that are injecting too much waste fluid too deep.”  Frustrated by the media she says that “they are not even reporting all of the quakes we’ve felt.”

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In the UK test drilling for Shale gas, twice caused magnitude 2.0 earthquakes, and this in the testing stage in Lancashire, after two earthquakes of 1.5 and 2.2 magnitude hit the area a subsequent study found it was “highly probable” that shale gas test drilling triggered the tremors.

The UK government-appointed panel said there could be more tremors as a result of fracking, but they will be too small to do structural damage above ground. This is what was said in Oklahoma and they are reporting currently Earthquakes at 4.3 magnitude.

Does the UK not need to take all this into consideration rather than speeding up the process as they are currently doing. In most recent Earthquake News Ohio has been linked to Fracking where a new study links nearly 80 earthquakes ranging between 1.0 magnitude to 3.0 magnitude that occurred in Ohio’s Mahoning County in March 2014 to nearby fracking operations.

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The British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission released a report in August 2015 stating that a  4.6 magnitude earthquake that rocked northeast British Columbia in August was caused by fracking and may be the largest earthquake on record to be attributed to the controversial energy extraction process.

These human related earthquakes are human made with the number of earthquakes rising in many areas, with this in mind should Fracking continue in the US, UK, or anywhere in the World?

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The National Parks are under threat to with David Cameron confirming that the UK is to go “all out” for shale gas. The Parks could be in danger from Earthquakes too, yet the plans to do this fracking under national parks has already been approved.

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Many residents from all around the country have opposed fracking by protesting in places like Chester, Balcombe, Greater Manchester and Blackpool and Fylde Coast. Yet the government seem to be pushing for fracking.

In an insight from former Environment Agency chairman Chris Smith, The UK is going into reverse on renewable energy while trying to hasten the beginning of the fracking process. The emphasis should be on working on developing green energy and not putting the UK/US/EU/World land at risk of earthquakes. Asia will be watching with keen eyes as to what kind of approach the richer nations take on this risky road of Fracking before making a stake for their own Fracking Revolution or Fracking Revolt, as for the Indian strategy they seem to be moving cautiously a smart approach and small scale explorations/operations are occurring.

 

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In conclusion:

We are learning more every day about this linking of Fracking to Earthquakes and it is becoming more evident by the day.  

Renewable energy is the future that needs to be worked further towards and invested in much more, at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris 2015 the world agreed to officially work towards a greener future and work to keep global warming down, fracking for shale gas is injurious to the planets Earth if it triggers quakes especially a large one. 

And these quakes are a first of their kind they are Human made; is Human kind really sizing up Seismic activity and are they ready to take on the consequences and why are countries not exploring green energy alternatives to the dangers of Fracking as outlined in this article and its link to earthquakes.

 

On an interesting note:
Did you know many animals may be able to sense Earthquakes days before they happen, there is ongoing scientific studies, mainly in Asia with animals like dogs, snakes, bees, as Scientists try to understand how prior to an earthquake animals can go into hiding like when this happened in Peru in 2011 when  magnitude 7.0 struck.

 

I also have an article which looks at the basics of Fracking and tells you more about what Fracking is and how its done.
T
he other article is titled ‘Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet poll shows Fracking not in Favour!(in the link below):
Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet Poll shows Fracking not in Favour!

Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet Poll shows Fracking not in Favour!

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Lord MacGregor was saying recently that Fracking in Britain holds many benefits. Recently a report published by The Lords Economic Affairs Committee, whom one or more of the members on the committee is said to have  links to Pro-Fracking corporations, have given their views on drilling for Shale Gas, they have outlined in the report that they back the Government’s decision to go “all out for shale”, however they make a request to do far more to engage the public on the benefits of Fracking in the UK and say it will provide more jobs, and bring about energy security.

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The report published went on to say that “Developing a successful shale gas and oil industry in the UK must be an urgent national priority.”

Although the report may have taken a liking to Fracking in terms of short-term money and making a quick buck, there are many dangers to Fracking and instead of taking a cautious approach, the committee have asked to speed up the implementation for the plans to Frack. If so many people are opposed surely they should be heard and their concerns addressed. Realistically many would now say that Fracking should not happen, as there are too many dangers involved with the focus on the wrong type of energy (fossil) instead of on green and clean renewable energy.

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The Green Party Leader of Croydon Shasha Khan said upon being questioned by Raj News that “The Government should seize the opportunity to embrace energy reduction with renewables not Fracking.

Fracking is an extreme energy source” Shasha went on to speak of Cuadrilla an oil and gas exploration company in the UK who are pursuing Shale Gas in the UK by hydraulic fracturing in the ground, he said “Cuadrilla have already said that energy prices will not come down due to Fracking, so why risk polluting our water.”

The report mentioned the EU’s reliance on Russia for Gas and how Fracking would stop this reliance. They do not however mention the EU’s fine to the UK for not meeting its Air Quality/Pollution requirements, there is a pending case against the UK by the EU, which could see the UK picking up bills worth millions for not doing enough to reduce the pollution and cleaning up the air.

The UK could see these fines dropped if the Government acts now and can show there is an improvement, in air quality. With car traffic jams in areas and things like incinerators, unnecessarily burning waste when it could be recycled, where is the encouragement to the public on these issues.

The Green party have been doing their bit in Croydon, opposing an Incinerator in Beddington Lane by putting in a judicial review, against Mayor Boris Johnson’s plan to have an incinerator in Beddington Lane which would serve Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Kingston, although there is danger of toxic fumes carrying downwind, unfairly building up, to pollute areas, which do not want to be harmed, by these dangerous fumes.

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With all these prominent dangers at the forefront, the Government still want to dangerously fracture the earth in an effort to unlock Shale gas, the dangers of this are creating toxic drinking water as Shasha Khan mentions and instead of trying to promote renewable energy, the Government wants to continue focusing on fossil fuels at the cost of damaging the UK – Fracking has been linked to Earthquakes.

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When it comes to regulation of Fracking the Lord’s have said that regulation should be streamlined, such as in cases where a company may want to drill under people’s houses they can do so without needing a license.

The Lords’ report seems to promote fracking and Lord MacGregor said on a radio interview with the BBC that Fracking will provide the public with lower fuel bills, he also mentions the US taking up Fracking. The radio host points out that “in the USA there are vasts amounts of unpopulated land, whereas in the UK you’re looking to do Fracking in relatively populated areas.” Lord MacGregor says that they’ve looked at this problem and any effects to the environment, yet this is a cherry picked report  which gives us a selected amount of information that is Pro-Fracking.

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Chief scientist Dr Doug Parr of Green Peace UK says of the report: “On one page the Lords are saying public concerns should be taken seriously, on the other they urge the government to strip people of their right to say no to Fracking firms planning to drill under their homes – a move opposed by three-quarters of British people.” They also backed moves by the Government to change trespass laws so that shale companies could drill under people’s property without their permission to ensure development could go ahead “without undue delay or cost”.

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Caroline Lucas of the Green Party also featured in the interview, she made it clear that Fracking is not a solution to anything and pointed out surely the UK are not going to go ahead with this. She mentioned that there are far more jobs in renewable energy compared to that of Fossil fuels. She spoke of having a cap on fossil fuel emissions, and how drilling for shale gas can cause levels in methane to increase which is dangerous, especially as the numbers on methane gas is highly underestimated.

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I would stress that this is a swipe by the Government to make some quick money, rather than educate the public on this issue and listen to the people who are, now, in a poll, overall against Fracking, in the UK.

Dr Parr criticised the report, warning Fracking was a “non-solution” that would not deliver for many years, if at all. Caroline Lucas points out that Fracking would lock us into the fossil fuel industry rather than working towards a positive renewable clean energy industry.

Dr Parr’s analysis of the report was a realistic one and he said, “The Lords spent seven months cherry-picking the wafer thin evidence that fits a foregone conclusion about the benefits of shale gas. This is just more taxpayer-funded cheerleading from unelected politicians who seem all too happy to ignore the country’s legitimate concerns about Fracking.”

The Dr and Caroline Lucas and Shasha Khan echoed each other when they spoke of the real urgent national priority, which is to push ahead with the renewable technology and efficiency measures.

Although the BBC did not mention in an article about Fracking that the Green Party (whom of late have not even had much media coverage by the BBC in the elections) whose Leader Natalie Bennet is a keen campaigner against Fracking alongside Caroline Lucas who was arrested for protesting against Fracking, after having real concerns about the UK issue of Fracking and alongside Green Peace, WWF, and Friends of the Earth’s concerns – who also did not get much coverage either.

The BBC did highlight the dangers of chemicals in Fracking they said:

“Hydraulic fracturing of shale to extract gas involves pumping water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure to allow the gas to flow out to the head of the well.

There is a worry that chemicals used in Fracking may escape and contaminate groundwater around the Fracking site.

Another environmental concern is that Fracking uses huge amounts of water that must be transported to the Fracking site, at significant environmental cost.”

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The campaigning group, Friends of the Earth, commented: “The report recognises that the regulations aren’t working – but calling for the Government to ‘simplify’ regulations and speed up the process will not reassure local communities and a public unconvinced by this risky technology.”

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The WWF- UK said:

Nick Molho, Head of Climate and Energy Policy at WWF-UK said: “The Lords seemed to have overlooked the many serious analysts who have said that shale gas in the UK is unlikely to have much impact on either gas prices or the UK’s rising exposure to gas imports.

“If we are genuinely going to reduce the UK’s vulnerability to future fossil fuel price shocks, the main priority must be to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels in the first place.

“Moving rapidly towards an energy system that’s more efficient, low-carbon and better integrated with those of our European partners should therefore remain the UK’s highest national priority when it comes to energy policy.”

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In conclusion:

There is a danger in going after shale gas, which is still unknown about in terms of quantity, quality and is most likely under the ground in different layers, making it difficult to access; whereas in the USA there is land which is flat and plenty in unpopulated areas, making the gas easier to extract, the same cannot be said for the UK with its populated areas and complex land structure and layers of the earth.

Fracking has added to the climate change debate, and Fracking will only damage the climate, which Fracking can have serious implications on, nevertheless it has become a part of the debate on climate change as it can cause a huge set back to the climate through air quality, natural disasters, water contamination and earthquakes; there should be a focus on renewable energy rather than using less dirtier fossil fuel (Shale gas compared to Coal), which looks set to harm the UK, residents, and environment just as much, if money was spent on Green renewable energy, this would pay off in the longterm.

There are so many alternatives yet Fracking is what the Government want to pursue. There are many out there protesting against Fracking to put a stop on it before it starts, make sure your concerns are heard write to the politicians and tell them to stop their plans as not many of the members of the public agree with Fracking and it is dangerous and also we cannot afford to miss the opportunity to work now on the future with renewable energy, which is clean, green, job making, and recyclable, renewable, and the future.

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