Ok­la­homa Oil & Gas In­dus­try Sued for Caus­ing Earth­quakes

Trillions - - In This Is­sue -

Dozens of peo­ple have filed suit against oil and gas com­pa­nies in Ok­la­homa for dam­ag­ing their prop­erty through the earth­quakes caused by frack­ing.

Frack­ing uses high pres­sure wa­ter mixed with var­i­ous chem­i­cals to frac­ture rock and re­lease more oil and gas, but it also un­locks ground wa­ter and pro­duces about 10 times the amount of waste wa­ter as re­cov­ered oil.

The mas­sive amount of toxic waste­water is in­jected back into the ground into per­me­able for­ma­tions, of­ten deeper than the for­ma­tion where the gas and oil was ex­tracted. Do­ing this is well known to cause earth­quakes, the con­tam­i­nated wa­ter also seeps into wa­ter aquifers.

The Nemaha fault line runs from near Ok­la­homa City north-north­west into Kansas and it is along this fault line that nu­mer­ous earth­quakes have been caused by frack­ing. How­ever, other fault lines are be­ing awak­ened across Ok­la­homa and those are caus­ing earth­quakes as well.

While most of the earth­quakes have been rel­a­tively mi­nor and have caused min­i­mal dam­age, the po­ten­tial for a mas­sive earth­quake is in­creas­ing.

The oil & gas in­dus­try, which has sub­stan­tial con­trol over the state gov­ern­ment, claims that it is not caus­ing the earth­quakes. Yet in 2015 alone there were more than 6,000 earth­quakes com­pared to al­most zero in the years prior to wide­spread frack­ing.

Even the state's Gov­er­nor ad­mit­ted in 2015 that the earth­quakes are linked to frack­ing, yet the state con­tends that the prof­its of a sin­gle in­dus­try is more im­por­tant than the safety and well-be­ing of the state's 4 mil­lion peo­ple and the frack­ing con­tin­ues un­abated.

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