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posted by hubie on Wednesday November 23, @04:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the I-feel-the-earth-move-under-my-feet dept.

The state's Railroad Commission is investigating whether the 5.4-magnitude quake last week was a natural event:

The Railroad Commission Texas, which regulates the state's oil and gas industry, is investigating a 5.4-magnitude earthquake that rocked communities in West Texas last Wednesday, The Texas Tribune reports. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a drilling technique common in the area that is known to cause earthquakes.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake occurred on November 16, just west of Pecos, Texas. This was the state's largest earthquake since 1995 and was felt as far as El Paso. The oil and gas regulatory agency is trying to understand if this was a naturally occurring earthquake or if it was caused by waste water from fracking. Waste water disposal from fracking has dramatically increased the number of earthquakes in Texas. The seismic activity has especially become more common around the Permian Basin in West Texas, where oil and gas production is concentrated, according to the Texas Tribune.

[...] The Texas Tribune previously reported that the number of earthquakes in the state doubled in 2021. According to data from the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin, there were more than 200 earthquakes categorized as 3 magnitude and higher. There were only 95 earthquakes reported in Texas in 2020, according to the Bureau's data.

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  • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, @09:14PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, @09:14PM (#1281335)

    From TFA:

    Communities near hydraulic fracturing sites are at risk from more than just rumbling ground. A study this past January connected fracking to premature deaths of people who live near the sites. Fracking is known to pose significant health risks: The sites contaminate nearby water sources [], and fracking leaks carcinogenic pollutants [] into the air and water. Fracking can also release PFAS into the environment [], chemicals linked to a variety of health issues.

    There's also the "what's good for the goose" angle [] that never seems to be followed.

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  • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Thursday November 24, @08:36AM

    by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @08:36AM (#1281432)

    Sure, but this is and should be captured by existing legislation. Most industrial processes release toxic chemicals if not handled correctly therefore ban all industry?