Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources on Sunday suspended operations at five deep well sites in Youngstown, Ohio, where the injection of water was taking place, while they evaluate seismological data from a rare quake in the area. The wells are each roughly 9,000 feet deep, or almost 2 miles, and are used to dispose of the waste water from oil and gas wells. The process is directly related to fracking, which is the controversial injection of chemical-laced water and sand into shale rocks to release the oil and gas contained in them. Critics of the fracking process say that the high pressure injection of the liquid causes seismic activity.
Won-Young Kim, a research professor of Seismology Geology and Tectonophysics at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday that circumstantial evidence suggests a link between the Ohio earthquake in Youngstown and the high-pressure well activity.
Kim, who is the adviser hired by the state to study the Ohio earthquake stated; “We know the depth (of the quake on Saturday) is two miles and that is different from a natural earthquake. The data collected from four seismographs set up in November in the area confirm a connection between the quakes and water pressure at the well. There is now circumstantial evidence to connect the two, in the past we didn’t have earthquakes in the area and the proximity in the time and space of the earthquakes matches operations at the well.”A spokesman for Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich, a strong supporter of oil and gas exploration in the state, said Ohio could announce a preliminary decision whether to continue the suspension of the wells as early as Wednesday. Of course, I think I can predict what that will be, dam the earthquakes and full speed ahead unfortunately. As it turns out, Ohio was already looking into the cause of earlier seismic activity from 10 previous earthquakes, beginning in March of 2011, however, according to state adviser Kim, this is not the first time an Ohio earthquake have been linked to human activities. He stated that “We have several examples of earthquakes from deep well disposal in the past.” On January 26, 2001, a quake of 4.2 magnitude in Ashtabula, Ohio was believed to be due to deep-well injection made during the fracking process, and in 1987 there was an incident with a correlation to high pressure deep well injection, he said.
Currently there are 177 so-called “class two” deep wells in Ohio, according to Tom Stewart, executive vice president of Ohio Oil and Gas Association. They all operate under federal guidelines spelled out by the Clean Water Act, and according to Stewart, there is no evidence that the wells in Youngstown were operating at higher pressures than allowed. However, we know how the gas and oil companies have manipulated politicians before, and regulations for that matter, and the Clean Water Act is under attack not only by Cheney’s Halliburton Loophole, which in essence stripped the EPA of its authority to regulate a drilling process called hydraulic fracturing.
According to Stewart, “We haven’t seen anything from anyone at (the state agency) that would lead us to believe that the well was not operating properly,” which of course they will say, and who is to say they are operating properly, the company that is doing it? With all the propaganda being sent out over the air waves concerning gas and fracking lately, it makes one wonder doesn’t it. I for one don’t trust any of these companies farther than I could throw them, and that gives them little margin of error. On the truth scale, I would give them a big fat zero out of a possible 10, with 10 being the most trust, and zero of course no trust whatsoever.
Kim went on to say that even though the wells have stopped pumping water into the rock, the area might not have experienced its last earthquake, and he added; “It could take a couple of years for the earthquakes to go away. The migration of the fluid injected into the rock takes a long time to leave.”
Ohio’s Democratic Senator, Sherrod Brown, said the quick response by the state shows it is a serious issue. “There are things we need to know about drilling and earthquakes,” Brown told Reuters on Tuesday. However, we are gaining new scientific proof that fracking is causing earthquakes from the Ohio earthquake, and should give us some grave concern over the entire fracking process and industry. Now gas and oil not only cause climate change, but can cause earthquakes from fracking, is it worth it? In our opinion no it isn’t, and we should be on the fast track to implementing alternatives, not expanding our exploration and need for more oil and gas! Peace my friends!