Oklahoma Earthquakes: God or Fracking?
Oklahoma had the largest earthquake in its recorded history Saturday, a 5.6 on the Richter scale. It appears that Oklahoma has always had a few quakes each year -- on average though they were few in number and small in intensity. Since 2009, however, things have changed:
Oklahoma typically had about 50 earthquakes a year until 2009. Then the number spiked, and 1,047 quakes shook the state last year, prompting researchers to install seismographs in the area. Still, most of the earthquakes have been small.
That is a remarkable increase. In 2010, earthquakes increased by 2100% over a typical year. And now they are gettingbigger, too:
Fourteen homes were damaged late on Saturday in the largest earthquake to hit Oklahoma on record, emergency management officials said on Sunday.
Now some may blame God (are there a lot of Gays in Oklahoma, I wonder--Pat Robertson wants to know). However there is another possibility, one with which the folks of Arkansas are familiar: Injection wells by oil and gas companies. It just so happens that there are 181 injection wells in the county where most of this weekend's seismic activity occurred. And some of those atheistic scientists and environmental whackos are suggesting that hydrofracking just might be the cause of Oklahoma's ground shattering events like this one:
A previously unreported study out of the Oklahoma Geological Survey has found that hydraulic fracturing may have triggered a swarm of small earthquakes earlier this year in Oklahoma. The quakes, which struck on Jan. 18 in a rural area near Elmore City, peaked at magnitude 2.8 and caused no deaths or property damage.
And these ecofreaks are also claiming fracking is the cause for the, shall we say, unprecedented, earthquake activity in Oklahoma:
I’ve drawn the link between natural gas hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) and earthquakes numerous times, long before the Oklahoma or Blackpool (Lancashire), England earthquakes. I started doing so early in 2011 when the Arkansas earthquakes were all the news and I got word that it might be related to fracking.
The case has only gotten more clear since then. As reported last week, even a fracking company in England has now stated that fracking is the “probable” cause of recent earthquakes there. In September, we reported that the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission has banned fracking disposal wells for unconventional gas drilling wastes due to earthquakes. This was months after fracking in the area was put on hold, a temporary moratorium was put in place, as an investigation into the matter took place. [...]
How did they get the idea to study the link? Well, in 2010, after fracking started in [Arkansas], the number of earthquakes was over 600 — about as many as in Arkansas in the last 100 years! Connection? [...]
OK, now, how can fracking be related to earthquakes? It’s actually the disposal wells that seem to cause the problem. Fracking involves high-pressure injection or pumping of fluids into the ground,.. in order to open up cracks in the rock for natural gas to escape and be capture.
Hmm, open up cracks in the rock….
While it seems fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes immediately, it lowers the barriers to earthquakes happening, loosens up the rocks enough that it is more likely to happen.
Of course, the Oil and Gas companies deny that there is any connection between their injection wells and fracking operations, and these earthquakes. I suppose we could take them at their word. Which begs the question: Why is God attacking the good God-fearing people of the Bible Belt with so many earthquakes all of a sudden? Because if human activity by the oil and gas industry cannot possibly be responsible for this sudden and massive increase in earthquakes activity in places that normally don't incur a lot of earthquakes what other answer can there be for a Good Christian believer but the Mighty Hand of God? Guess Rick Perry better hold another Massive Prayer Event to ask God to stop shaking up God's country like Vodka and Vermouth in a Martin shaker. God knows how well Perry's official proclamation for rain prayers worked to stop the droughts in the Southwest that led to all those wildfires this last year.
So Rick, ready to call upon the Lord for help again? It's what a man running for President who doesn't know much about Science should do, don't you think?
The 5.6-magnitude earthquake's epicenter, located 44 miles east of Oklahoma City , was felt as far away as Wisconsin and South Carolina, but there were no serious injuries, officials said. The Oklahoma health department reported two minor injuries, neither requiring hospitalization.