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Impacts of Fracking

Though difficult to determine, the rare earthquakes which occurred in Dallas recently may have been the result of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

It is well known a consequence of fracking is the possibility of earthquakes, but it is not known how powerful an earthquake caused by fracking can be. However, the logistics of fracking seem to create a “perfect storm” situation, where underground shale formations are destroyed, resulting in geological instability under the surface. Further, the most efficient way of getting rid of the wastewater is to pump it back underground where, if a fault-line is present, essentially acts as a lubricant and reduces friction on the fault which can lead to an earthquake.

Both the fracking industry and geologists agree the secondary wastewater injection is more likely to cause seismic activity, but it is still undetermined if it is a direct result of the fracturing process or an unfortunate series of events which lead to earthquakes.

It is unlikely it will be determined what caused the Dallas earthquakes, whether it was a result of hydraulic fracturing or if it was just natural fault movement, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter.What does matter is the cost-benefit relationship hydraulic fracturing has with the environment and society.

There is obviously a very high risk associated with fracking, but is the risk worth the reward of a short-term energy solution? It would appear the growing demand and the dwindling supply of energy has caused many to be sacrificial and choose to take the risk, usually sacrificing another instead of themselves, and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.

Any action to prevent fracking is going to have to be a grassroots movement, and it has already happened and seen success.

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