Three Los Angeles city council members have put forth a motion to ask several different agencies to report back to them whether the 4.4 magnitude
quake felt last week in Los Angeles was induced by hydraulic fracturing. There is an active well project at the Veteran's Administration grounds in
west Los Angeles, nearby to the epicenter of the quake. The fault line where the quake occurred last week has been dormant for a thousand years until
the surprise shaking.
Did fracking play a role in LA
Earlier this year, the council voted to draft rules that would bar hydraulic fracturing, often referred to as “fracking,” acidizing and
other kinds of well stimulation in Los Angeles until council members felt sure that Angelenos and the water they drink were safe from their effects.
The risk of triggering earthquakes was among the dangers cited by Bonin and Koretz, who championed the move.
“All high-pressure fracking and injection creates ‘seismic events,’” the motion states. It added, “Active oil extraction activities are
reportedly taking place on the Veteran’s Administration grounds in West Los Angeles, nearby the epicenter” of the Monday quake.
"It is crucial to the health and safety of the City's residents to understand the seismic impacts of oil and gas extraction activities in the City,"
the motion said.
Environmental activists have pointed to swarms of earthquakes in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Ohio as evidence of the risk.
Of course, the oil and gas industry came out denying that there is any evidence fracking causes earthquakes.
"I think people are trying to take advantage of a naturally occurring incident in order to attack our industry," California Independent
Petroleum Assn. CEO Rock Zierman said Tuesday.
There is plenty of evidence that shows fracking is causing earthquakes. Many officials now believe certain quakes were caused by specific wells of the
wastewater disposal from all the chemically enhanced water used to pump into the fractures. In Arkansas, for example, regulators shut down four
disposal wells after a 2011 series of earthquakes broke out near the town of Guy. One of those quakes was as large as a 4.7 on the Richter scale.
Since then, at least in Arkansas, companies are regulated to prove the drill site is geologically structured for a well and that the site is not near
any known faults. There was no doubt in their minds that the four disposal wells had caused the seismic activity. Many other states are also imposing
stricter regulations in light of the mounting evidence.
From 2000 to 2011 there was a six-fold increase in earthquakes through the United States. In the heartland, there used to be an average of only 21
seismic events per year. There were 50 quakes in 2009, 87 in 2010 and 134 in 2011. The numbers continue to climb.
Those proponents of the possibility that quakes are caused by fracking state that a study was done for 30 months beginning in 2010 that watched all
the quakes in Oklahoma and checked to see if they were within five miles of a well and if they happened within three weeks of the start of the well.
The study claims that only 2% of the quakes were within those start dates of an operation. Of course, the seismologist behind the study, John Laws,
works for the oil and gas companies in the area. Laws claims that there isn’t enough pressure generated from a frack well to cause an earthquake. He
said that it would take 10 frack jobs simultaneously to even match one-hundredth of what nature does when generating an earthquake. He claimed that
this increase in earthquakes, up from 50 in Oklahoma in 2000 to over 1,000 quakes in 2010, is just an uptick in activity in the earth’s crust.
But, in recent studies, officials believe that it’s the wastewater disposal wells that may actually be causing the quakes and not the actual
drilling for the gas.
Sharp rise in US earthqaukes
almost certainly manmade
A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) team has found that a sharp jump in earthquakes in America’s heartland appears to be linked to oil and
natural gas drilling operations.
As hydraulic fracturing has exploded onto the scene, it has increasingly been connected to earthquakes. Some quakes may be caused by the original
fracking — that is, by injecting a fluid mixture into the earth to release natural gas (or oil). More appear to be caused by reinjecting the
resulting brine deep underground.
Last August, a USGS report examined a cluster of earthquakes in Oklahoma and reported:
Our analysis showed that shortly after hydraulic fracturing began small earthquakes started occurring, and more than 50 were identified, of which 43
were large enough to be located. Most of these earthquakes occurred within a 24 hour period after hydraulic fracturing operations had ceased.
The bottom line...Good for Angeleno's. At least they have some common sense council members looking out for them.
edit on 20-3-2014 by
Rezlooper because: (no reason given)