There were 2 more earthquakes in Cleburne yesterday evening (that makes a total of 17 recent earthquakes). One happened during an emergency meeting where Cleburne officials were trying to decide what to do about the earthquakes.
- A plume of toluene in the Trinity Aquifer didn’t get people’s attention.
- Increased smog from drilling emissions didn’t get people’s attention.
- Pipeline explosions
didn’t getsort of got peoples attention, for a moment.
There’s nothing like a few earthquakes, even minor ones, to get people’s attention.
This commenter expressed some of the thoughts I’ve been having lately:
Petrea Rasmussen has left a new comment on your post “Barnett Shale Earthquakes Caused by Drilling Exper…“:
According to the news I just watched this morning (6/10/09), Cleburne convened an emergency meeting last night; they voted unanimously to hire a geologist to determine “what’s happening”. The spokesman said they want to be careful with the hire. They don’t want somebody to just say “don’t worry” and “everything’s normal” … but, on the other hand (said the spokesman) they don’t want someone to say that the center of town is about to sink into the earth. I was taken quite aback by those statements! Plan to hire a scientist, ostensibly to determine the truth, yet place limits on the scientist’s results before they even begin their work! It’s the principle I disagree with, not a judgment on the reasonableness of those statements.
The news, however, was not what I just ranted about. The news was that, according to the news report, Cleburne experienced yet another quake last night (6/9/09) either during or just before the emergency meeting mentioned previously.
Finally, I’d like to thank TXSharon for having published sufficient authoritative information for me to find it entirely reasonable to conclude that the fraking for natural gas in the Barnett Shale formation can easily be the responsible for triggering tectonic earthquakes in our Metroplex. I wonder if our local policymakers were made aware of the potential for earthquakes. Either answer to that question is troubling.
Yes, local policymakers were warned about the history of earthquakes where drilling activity occurs. They were warned by Don Young and by me. We were laughed at.
I don’t have time to do a lot of research right now but you can Google your own selves and learn that:
- Drilling activity can cause earthquakes.
- Drilling activity can cause sinkholes.
- Earthquakes sometimes proceed sinkhole formation.
- Drilling activity has caused Magnitude 5 earthquakes.
- Magnitude 5 earthquakes cause property damage.
- Gas pipelines are a major cause of concern during earthquakes. (Ahm, remember those pipelines running through neighborhoods?)
Early this morning I saw a tweet from Bud Kennedy, known drilling apologists, calling attention to his article today, which was picked up by the Dallas Blog:
The greatness of Bud Kennedy points out two things about the DMN’s story Monday quoting a UT scientist who says Barnett Shale drilling could be causing these quakes: one, Kennedy quoted the same guy saying the same thing a year ago; two, he also told Kennedy the following:
“These are all very small events. Only a few feet away, you would hardly feel them. … If I owned land with the potential for minerals, I wouldn’t hesitate to drill.”
The above is troubling for the reasons pointed out by the commenter and for some additional reasons.
- People in Louisiana felt the quakes that occurred in the mid-cities area several months ago.
- People all over Cleburne and outside felt the quakes.
- This scientists already holds the belief that quakes are caused by drilling but they are limited to only small quakes. This seems to limit his ability to be completely objective.
- He is making light of something that could be quite serious.
- He feels the money earned from minerals would outweigh the risks.
GET THIS THROUGH YOUR @!&%$ HEADS:
Not everyone affected by drilling owns minerals! Hundreds of millions own nothing but the surface and they have no say in what happens.
Mineral owners are outnumbered by surface owners so Mineral owners need to become a whole lot smarter and more ethical. Start protecting the rights of surface owners!
According U.S. Geological Survey data, more earthquakes have occurred since last October within a 100-mile radius of Fort Worth than in the previous three decades combined. From 1973 to 2006, the USGS recorded 11 minor quakes in that area. Seventeen have been recorded in the past 7 months, including two recorded an hour apart on Tuesday in Cleburne. Most have occurred along the border between Dallas and Tarrant counties.
I love numbers.