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To say we live in unstable times may be an understatement. The Detroit Free Press reported that Central Virginia felt an aftershock from last week’s  East Coast earthquake. The US Geological Survey reports that a 3.4 aftershock occurred at 5:09 (EST) with an epicenter 4 miles southeast of Mineral.

While the much of the media may look at this phenomenon as an act of nature, there are those that believe that extremely rare quakes such as these are a result of human interference with nature. A growing number of scientists are linking the controversial use of fracking with a number of recent earthquakes along more dormant fault lines.

The BBC News defines fracking as:

The process of drilling down and creating tiny explosions to shatter and crack hard shale rocks to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well. The process is carried out vertically or, more commonly, by drilling horizontally to the rock layer. The process can create new pathways to release gas or can be used to extend existing channels.

This may sound harmless, even innovative, but many geologists believe that while fracking itself may not cause earthquakes, the sand, water and chemicals that are injected deep into bedrock could be the culprit.

A recent AlterNet report presents the following evidence linking fracking to quakes:

  • Blackpool, England banned fracking immediately, without waiting to see if more earthquakes would occur.

 

Is freeing United States from dependence of foreign oil worth the potential risk? When adding the fact that the more recent practice of “slick-water fracks” which not only drain millions of gallons of fresh water from lakes and rivers per frack, but threaten to pollute our ground water and aquifers with the toxic cocktail it’s comprised of, it appears tragically doubtful.

 

Dig BBC’s breakdown for details, or AlterNet for more information the threat fracking poses to our planet.

 

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  • jamesfrmphilly

    fracking is the firs thing i thought of when i felt the quake………