What the Fracking Frack


A 4.0 magnitude earthquake that startled residents around Youngstown, Ohio, is believed to have been caused by wastewater injection wells associated with fracking. Youngstown isn’t the first location to see seismic activity, suspected by some, to be triggered by fracking activity lately.

Believed to be?  Seriously?  They’re using some of the stupidest weasel words every uttered by humankind in a science article.  Astonishing.

It is not fracking itself that causes earthquakes. Instead it is the injection wells used for disposal of the wastewater used during the fracking process that is believed to trigger seismic activity. Fracking is a process by which fluid is injected deep into a shale deposit to fracture the shale and release the natural gas trapped within it. The fluid that is used is then disposed of using deep injection wells.

No casual mechanism here folks.  Move along.

The United States Geological Survey has cited a correlation between injection wells and seismic activity. According to the USGS, A 5.5 magnitude earthquake that struck near Denver, Colorado in 1967 was attributed to injection wells and followed a number of smaller quakes in the area.

This one’s easy:  post hoc ergo propter hoc.

What makes this so bad?  Well, they’re literally only going off of correlational observations (you can’t really even call these studies) and fracking doesn’t need the bad PR unless it can be proven that it’s actually doing something negative.  It’s a vital technique for harvesting natural gas that environmentalists have a raging anti-corporate boner over.  There have been unfair documentaries done on the subject that have muddied the waters considerably.  The last thing we need is shoddy reporting like this uncritically echoing unfounded assertions about fracking and earthquakes.

If there is better evidence to link the two, you sure as hell don’t see it here.

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