Oklahoma Oil & Gas Industry Sued for Causing Earthquakes
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.