Oklahoma Earthquakes


No, the title is not a misprint.  Oklahoma has had thousands of earthquakes in the past three years, more than 2,600 through November of 2013 – mostly minor earthquakes, but a few that have rattled the dishes and destroyed a few homes.

In a New York Times article by Henry Fountain published in the Raleigh News & Observer on Friday, December 13, 2013, and titled “As quakes shake Oklahoma, scientists eye oil, gas industry,” the cause of the earthquakes may be “…the widespread practice of disposing of billions of gallons of wastewater that is produced along with oil and gas, by injecting it under pressure into wells that reach permeable rock formations.”

I am reasonably certain that practice is called “fracking.”

That’s billions of gallons of wastewater in more than 4,000 disposal wells in Oklahoma.

So now scientists are telling us that it’s not the fracking, but what is done with the wastewater that fracking produces that may arouse the wrath of Mother Nature.

Honestly now, before you read this, had you ever heard of earthquakes in Oklahoma?

Still think fracking is a good idea?

Anybody paying attention out there, particularly our lawmakers?

Maybe what we should do is go ahead with fracking but be sure to update the building codes to make certain our homes can survive an earthquake.

Then again, we know that water is heavy, and billions of gallons of water can change underground pressures.  Again from Mr. Fountain’s article: “The weight of water behind a new dam in China, for example, is thought to have induced a 2008 quake in Sichuan province that killed 80,000 people.”

About those building codes, as my grandson says: “Really?”

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