Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

70 More Earthquakes Hit Oklahoma, Averaging Nearly Three a Day in 2015

Energy
70 More Earthquakes Hit Oklahoma, Averaging Nearly Three a Day in 2015

The state of Oklahoma was rocked by more than 70 earthquakes last week. Two of the largest quakes measured magnitude 4.7 and 4.8 and struck in the rural northern part of the state, beneath a major oil and gas producing area. The week before that, the state was hit by a dozen tremors in less than a week, prompting the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates the state’s oil and gas industry, to order several injection well operators to reduce wastewater disposal volumes.

Scientists have linked this ongoing spate of tremors to the state’s drilling boom. The Oklahoma Geological Survey concluded that the injection of wastewater byproducts into deep underground disposal wells from fracking operations has triggered the seismic activity in the state.

In November 2015, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission reported that Oklahoma now experiences more earthquakes than anywhere else in the world. Oklahoma went from two earthquakes a year before 2009 to two a day. Prior to the state’s fracking boom, it averaged 1 to 2 earthquakes of a magnitude 3 or higher per year. By 2009, that number rose to 20. By 2013, it jumped to 585. And, according to Thom Hartmann of The Big Picture, data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that in 2015 Oklahoma experienced 881 earthquakes of a magnitude 3 or higher—that’s an average of nearly three per day.

Between 2013 and 2015, "Oklahoma experienced a yearly average of 733 earthquakes, which is a nearly 39,000 percent increase from the 40-year average before 2008," Hartmann said. A seismologist at the National Earthquake Information Center called it "almost a millennium’s worth of earthquakes in two years.”

Watch Thom Hartmann of The Big Picture discuss with Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen's Energy Program whether this could be the wakeup call America needs to ban fracking once and for all:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Super PAC Credits Hillary Clinton for Selling Fracking to the World

Porter Ranch Is Only Tip of the Iceberg Exposing Catastrophic Impacts of Natural Gas

EPA Scientists Call Foul on Fracking Study, Say Findings ‘Inconsistent With Data Presented’

12 Earthquakes Hit Frack-Happy Oklahoma in Less Than a Week

Producing avocado and almond crops is having a detrimental effect on bees. Molly Aaker / Getty Images

At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An oblique (left) and dorsal (right) photo of a female Pharohylaeus lactiferous. J.B. Dorey / Journal of Hymenoptera Research

Australia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. It is home to more than 7% of all the world's plant and animal species, many of which are endemic. One such species, the Pharohylaeus lactiferus bee, was recently rediscovered after spending nearly 100 years out of sight from humans.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Scientists believe sharks use bioluminescence to camouflage themselves. Jérôme Mallefet

Scientists have newly photographed three species of shark that can glow in the dark, according to a study published in Frontiers in Marine Science last month.

Read More Show Less
A FedEx truck travels along Interstate 10 by the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm near Palm Springs, California on Feb. 27, 2019. Robert Alexander / Getty Images

FedEx's entire parcel pickup and delivery fleet will become 100 percent electric by 2040, according to a statement released Wednesday. The ambitious plan includes checkpoints, such as aiming for 50 percent electric vehicles by 2025.

Read More Show Less
Empty freeways, such as this one in LA, were a common sight during COVID-19 lockdowns in spring 2020. vlvart / Getty Images

Lockdown measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic had the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by around seven percent, or 2.6 billion metric tons, in 2020.

Read More Show Less