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Saturday, November 5, 2011

What, the frack?

They've had a couple of decent-sized earthquakes in Oklahoma overnight -- a 4.7 and a 3.4, at this writing. Could it have something to do with this?

UPDATE, 8:09 a.m.: They continue to get aftershocks, in the mid-3's. Eight shakes so far, and counting.

Comments (15)

If that is the case ,How come not in North Dakota?? This sounds like a Goracle story to me....

The Jonathan Franzen novel "Strong Motion" is eerily prescient of this. In the novel, an illegal operation to dispose of toxic waste by pumping it into deep wells causes earthquakes in New England. The fluids lubricate existing faults, and cause them to slide more easily past one another - thus the earthquakes. Fracking pumps toxic waste ("fracking fluids") deep into the ground - seems intuitive that would make things slide easier. WTF - "What the Frack?!"

This has become a wide-spread "coincidence" over the past few years. Another report earlier this week:

Ohio quakes tied to gas extraction?
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
The Associated Press

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Geologists are checking for possible links between a brine-water injection well and seven minor earthquakes since March in the Youngstown area of northeast Ohio.

The quakes are the only ones recorded with epicenters in Youngstown and the Mahoning River valley.

According to The (Youngstown) Vindicator, experts are checking the 18-month-old injection well, which was completed in Youngstown 10 months before the quakes began. Of the seven earthquakes, six had epicenters near the well.

Brine water, a byproduct of oil drilling and hydraulic-fracturing for natural gas, is flushed underground.

Read more:

Fracking fluid disclosure pushed
Thursday, October 27, 2011
By Puneet Kollipara, Hearst Newspapers

WASHINGTON -- Three House Democrats are pressing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to require oil and gas companies to disclose the fluids they use to hydraulically fracture wells.

Reps. Henry Waxman of California, Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Diana DeGette of Colorado earlier this year released an analysis showing that 12 oil and gas companies had used 32.2 million gallons of fracturing fluid containing diesel fuel between 2005 and 2009.

Fracking involves injecting mixtures of water, sand and chemicals at high pressure deep underground to break up shale-rock formations and make it easier to extract oil and natural gas.


Oil and gas companies have long maintained that the process doesn't threaten groundwater, but some Democrats and environmentalists say it has caused several instances of drinking-water contamination with toxic chemicals such as benzene, a known carcinogen.

The EPA is conducting its own study on the safety of hydraulic fracturing. The agency recently announced that it would set standards for the disposal of fracturing wastewater.


Ms. DeGette is lead sponsor of a bill to require companies to disclose the fluids they use for fracturing. The bill, introduced in March, hasn't been brought up for consideration in the Republican-controlled House.


Complete article at

Greg Walden's on the Energy & Commerce Committee.

Under pressure from the owner of the blog, and one of few "REPUBS" to dare post here, let me say this...if you "green" types have a 2-5 year plan for dropping oil from the middle east,or where we get it,to produce our own source of the stuff, I'd like to hear it...WIND(protests there) hydro ,(take them out)solar,(goes broke)ocean wave(hurt fish),our own in the ground....protests, lawsuits, over the top regs, that make it all stupid to produce,so the electric cars, and electric trucks will not be here in 20-30 yrs,where shall you get your Starbuck's fix, or your organic veggies?

Good point Jack.

This gas is being prepared primarily for liquifying and transport to overseas markets. Electric vehicles are the future and right now most of our domestic electric energy us produced by coal (49%) and nukes (20-25%). Residential and commercial (non-industrial) electricity consumption and waste can be reduced significantly (25% or more) with sensible demand-side pract

This gas is being prepared primarily for liquifying and transport to overseas markets. Check out the various plans for the transport lines & for terminal constructions on the eastern, southern & western seaboard ports.

Electric vehicles are the future and right now most of our domestic electric energy is produced by coal (49%) and nukes (20-25%). Hydro adds another 15% or so. Residential and commercial (non-industrial) energy consumption and waste can be reduced significantly (25% or more) with sensible demand-side practices, which also save money by consumers.

Solar energy is where we should be smartly investing, not more dirty fossil fuels that are dirty in the extracting, not to mention their burning.

"sensible demand side practices"
What does that mean?

Quite frankly, I have difficulty with the D and the R Party system we have going on now in our country, in my view they do not exist in the same sense we once knew.

Dead on target. I'm of much the same view.

Electric vehicles are the future

Snort! Yeah, just like they were in the early 1900's. You are aware of the enormous environmental impact that the production of the batteries alone generates? In terms of environmental impact, it's far "greener" to have a couple of hum-vees at your disposal than a single Prius.

Let us take a closer look at these two very different vehicles. The fact is that building a Toyota Prius causes more environmental damage than an American General Hummer that is on the road for three times longer than a Prius. For those that do not know, the Prius is a "Hybrid" vehicle that is partly driven by a battery that contains nickel. The nickel for the batteries is mined and smelted at a plant in Sudbury, Ontario. This plant has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that the area around the plant is devoid of any life for miles.

This plant is the primary source of all the nickel found in these batteries and Toyota purchases about 1,000 tons annually for the batteries in the Prius. Also known as the Superstack, this factory spreads sulfur dioxide across all of northern Ontario, becoming every environmentalist's nightmare. "The acid rain around Sudbury was so bad it destroyed all the plants and the soil slid down off the hillside," said Canadian Greenpeace energy-coordinator David Martin during an interview with Mail, a British-based newspaper.

What I find interesting is that solar was brought up years ago, and then seemed shelved until....

My opinion and I could be totally wrong here is that until the huge corporations could find a way to get a system together to make the money on it instead of individuals saving money...

Then in our local scene, the reason I bring this up is that with the density push in our city, solar access codes would stand in the way of development, so last I heard, some of those codes were deleted or changed...I haven't had time to do the research on the subject, might be that others who are current on codes can update the information.

Still waiting for that 2-5 year plan.

If the middle east blows up, the oil will stop, then what?

As it is's time to stop blaming the "D and R" factor, that right now will solve nothing.

If there is a middle-east war ,the oil from South America will stop as well,and that is a given, so there is no refinery capacity(stopped by who?)doesn't matter now, but reality is about to bite us in the rear, and "briefs or boxers", will be no protection.

We need pipelines to move the gas and oil, no more restrictions, there are jobs in the thousands to move it from Alaska and Canada, and North Dakota,but we maybe days now from fuel shortages unlike we ever knew years ago.

I hope you read my challenge...We don't have 20 yrs to develop all of this, the energy train may have left already, and it was low on fuel.

Anyone know the hydropower potential of Multnomah Falls?

The AP reports that the OK quakes were too powerful to be the result of fracking:

"The magnitude-5.6 quake that rocked Oklahoma three miles underground had the power of 3,800 tons of TNT, which is nearly 2,000 times stronger than the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

The typical energy released in tremors triggered by fracking, "is the equivalent to a gallon of milk falling off the kitchen counter," said Stanford University geophysicist Mark Zoback."

"Earlier this year, [Oklahoma Geological Survey seismologist Austin] Holland wrote a report about a different flurry of Oklahoma quakes last January -- the strongest a 2.8 magnitude -- that seemed to occur with hydraulic fracturing. Holland said it was a 50-50 chance that the gas drilling technique caused the tremors.

That is the largest tremor associated with fracking in the scientific literature, experts say. And the strongest of this weekend's natural quakes, magnitude-5.6, released nearly 16,000 times the energy of the worst from that January flurry."

Yes, but one thing leads to another, and it's not inconceivable that fracking started a chain reaction of seismic events. Don't tell me the geologists don't agree with that theory, because it's obvious they don't know all of what's going on.


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