> A group of Edmond residents filed a lawsuit Monday against a dozen energy companies, claiming their saltwater disposal wells were in part to blame for earthquakes that hit central Oklahoma in recent weeks.
>The lawsuit, filed in Oklahoma County District Court, said the companies acted negligently and their use of disposal wells constituted an "ultrahazardous activity." The nine homeowners said disposal wells operated by the companies "caused or contributed" to earthquakes.
>In the lawsuit, filed in Oklahoma County court, the residents focus on two earthquakes — of 4.3 and 4.2 magnitude — that struck Edmond on December 29 and January 1. The plaintiffs say they suffered damage from the earthquakes, and that the energy companies were “negligent, careless, and reckless” in their treatment of the earthquake risks surrounding wastewater injection.
>“As a direct and proximate result of defendants’ negligence, plaintiffs have suffered and will continue to suffer severe and permanent damage to their persons and property,” the lawsuit states. This damage includes “cracked and broken interior and exterior walls” and “movement of the foundations beneath their dwellings.” These damages have taken a toll on the residents psyches, too, causing “mental and emotional anguish, fear, and worry.”
>Wastewater injection has been tied to increased earthquake risk before. The U.S. Geological Survey said in a report last year that many of the earthquakes that have peppered the Midwest since 2009 could be linked to oil and gas companies’ practice of injecting their wastewater deep underground. If wastewater is pumped into a fault, scientists think, it could cause the fault to slip, causing an earthquake. Researchers have linked wastewater injection to earthquakes in Texas and Ohio.
>Lisa Griggs says she just moved back into her home after it was gutted because of earthquake damage.
>Now, she's ready to start a fight against the people she says started it all.
>"There used to be when you came in here, all of these walls were cracked, and the floor here, there was this giant valley," Griggs said.
>Now, it seems like only memories for Griggs.
>"Forty percent of this foundation was separated from its mortar and you can see that right here, see these cracks? That's where the separation was," Griggs says.
>Her entire home was gutted and she said she had to move out in July.
>"When the engineer came out, I didn't understand it was this bad. He found over $75,000 worth of damage to the house," Griggs says.
>She was one of the lucky ones to have insurance.
>"I got earthquake insurance early on, a lot of people can't buy it now or can't afford the deductibles," Griggs said.
>SandRidge Energy Inc., the largest oil producer in Kansas and largest disposer of waste water in Oklahoma, is refusing to abide by regulations designed to prevent earthquakes, according to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
>SandRidge would be the first of more than 100 fracking companies in Oklahoma to refuse to implement the commission’s recommendations. One other smaller company resisted its recommendations in August but quickly complied after meeting with lawyers, according to commission spokesman Matt Skinner.
>“A lot of the plans that we issue are technically voluntary,” Skinner said. “But it’s always been done with the understanding that if you don’t we’ll go to court.”
The energy companies have successfully spun this into a "liberal vs conservative" issue. Nothing will happen unless a bunch of poor people can prove to a bought and paid for shill court that hydrofracking causes earthquakes. They will be called hippie libtards and sent home. That's why the companies frack in poor red states.
They're fracking in Downtown Los Angeles right now, among other 'blue states', but you're not wrong about the rest.
I think it's really telling how this story is all but buried in local media and not picked up on by the AP or another major wire service. Corporate media generally does whatever BigCoalOil&Gas wants as long as nobody dies in a collapsed mine.
you are right, I think the claim is void.
My problem with the situation is that it's hardly scientific consesus that fracking do NOT cause erathquakes, and yet, legislation approves it regardless of the reasonable environmental concerns
If the water you drink was "enriched" with chemicals not properly studied, would you be ok with it?
ND anon here. This is a hard issue because I'm very pro-fracking.
Truth is, the waste disposal is probably related to more earthquakes in OK.. But its mainly because that area already is seismically active.
The solution of course, would be to truck the waste to a different part of the country.. But that would be very expensive, and difficult because they'd have to convince another state to accept their waste.. Lots of red tape and too little political willpower.
I'm not so sure about that. While fracking has only recently entered into public awareness, the technique itself has been around and in use for just under seventy years (the original experiments were in '47, the first commercial drilling using it was 1950) so we've actually got a fuckton of data to indicate what will or will not tend to increase noticeable seismic activity and by how much.
Claims of water contamination are generally bullshit because the deposits you're going after only exist because they're pinned beneath an impermeable layer, and any water sources accessible to the surface are inherently above this layer (usually way, way above it). The fracking fluids themselves I'm not too fussed by, considering most of the modern ones actually pass FDA standards before the sand gets added.
That said, it wouldn't surprise me if someone fucked up the regulatory specs of wastewater injection for some regions, so it needs to be looked into on that front.
well thanks for pointing out that i was talking out of my ass. I always assumed fracking was a new technique because everyone said so. In my defence, when the affair I didn't doubt newspapers so much, my bad.
nonetheless, regulations are usually either not followed or can be bent at will, so it wouldn't surprise me given the huge conflict of interest. All you need is to get away with stuff is that is not "noticeable enough" to generate a clear correlation
>when the affair
***when recent mainstream concern about fracking started
btw, I was a fracking supporter from the start though, just as nuclear, and I just know very well that sometimes regulations are glossed over in nuclear too
There is a pretty strong consensus that it causes earthquakes
Fault lines are not mapped very well, we don't know where they all are.
Fracking was rarely used until about 8-10 years ago. And the Fracking that did happen was of a different nature not really the same as the horizontal shale fracking we're seeing now
Wastewater spills at the surface, leaks through the wellhead, and leaks when stored in impoundment pools. It's also not always done far below the surface, some plays are much closer to groundwater and sometimes even on the same level as groundwater.
And the quantity of water used, often over a million gallons per well. Considering we're already running out of water its a concern to be using that much
And facking fluid is not safe at all are you retarded? It contains numerous carcinogens and other toxic compounds
The claims that we've been "fracking" since 1947 are misleading. There are different types of fracking. Today we're usually referring to horizontal drilling and fracking, particularly of shale. That didn't really start until the 90s and didn't become widespread until around 2008. It's also only more recently that this fracking has started occurring near populated areas
It isn't the fracking that is necessarily the chief problem, but the inadequate and shoddy ways in which lesser companies leave the well casings after the fact. Oh and the millions of gallons of toxic wastewater each well generates.
They are using the waste water in agriculture, as an alternate to treat frozen roadways and whatever else they can to get rid of it. I hate the fracking, but what I hate more is Kinder Morgans use of eminent domain to force people to let them steal land. Wish to see some embarassing docs from that evil empire.