The alleged link between oil fracking and earthquakes in Oklahoma has some people worried. Reports claim houses are literally bouncing and the frequency of earthquakes has picked up in recent times.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, an oil fracking EPA study determined they couldn't find a definitive case where fracking has contaminated the area, which has been controversial to some environmentalists.
The state of Oklahoma used to average only one earthquake per year, but now it beats even California despite the latter state being physically located along a major fault line. Since January, the state has registered 292 earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or higher. Of course, the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) claims this may be normal activity:
"The frequency of earthquakes has increased in Oklahoma however, the majority of these earthquakes align with the natural stresses in Oklahoma and appear to be occurring on previously known and unknown faults, therefore, these earthquakes do not appear to be inconsistent with what might be called normal seismicity for Oklahoma."
The OGS has been installing more seismic monitoring equipment all over the state and many oil wells are required to have monthly reports. But the state government is now implementing rules that will have oil well operators submit daily reports on volume and pressure of wastewater injection into the ground.
Matt Skinner, spokesman for the Oklahoma Corporations Commission, says that even his own home has been affected by the quakes, and this has regulators questioning the oil fracking operations:
"The houses are bouncing. It is frightening. We are looking at these wells and going over them with a fine-tooth comb… looking for anything that might trigger seismicity. We can't leave anything to chance because something is happening here that no one understands."
If fracking and earthquakes are indeed linked then Oklahoma faces a hard choice. Many Americans may be surprised to hear that the United States oil production now beats even Saudi Arabia due to the growing fracking operations throughout the Midwest. Fracking for oil has become such big business that entire cities are springing up out of nothing, and many jobs are being created. In fact, the growth rate in U.S. oil production outpaces the next nine fastest growing countries combined.
Oklahoma's economy has greatly benefited from the oil fracking boom and now relies heavily on oil and gas. Out of 77 counties in the state, 70 are involved in producing oil and gas with 4,500 disposal wells.