Despite repeated denials on the part of the oil and gas industry over the last decade, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced yesterday what nearly everyone already believed to be true, fracking absolutely does cause earthquakes. Given that a vast increase in earth shaking events seemed to coincide with the advent and increase in hydraulic fracturing as well as the injection of drilling wastewater deep underground, this should come as no surprise.
What is specifically interesting about the report is exactly what faultlines are being triggered. The USGS describes the faultlines being triggered by fracking as “ancient,” millions of years old. Most of them, no one was even specifically aware of although it is a proper assumption that fault lines, new and old, are literally everywhere.
However, there’s still the question as to what should be done about it. While the new USGS announcement is a solid assertion about what’s happening, there are still no policies being proposed as to what to do about it or what the long term effects of the quakes could be. Eight states long since believed to be very stable have been affected by these man-made earthquakes in recent years.