The Texas Railroad Commission not convinced by frackquake evidence.
Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, SMU and the University of Texas concluded that two disposal wells, where companies bury wastewater from oil and gas operations, most likely triggered quakes in Azle and Reno, northwest of Fort Worth, in 2013 and 2014.
But the evidence that scientists presented in a peer-reviewed study and at the four-hour meeting in Austin was not enough to convince the Texas Railroad Commission.
“I have not reached the conclusion that oil and gas activity is the causal factor,” said Craig Pearson, the Railroad Commission’s staff seismologist. “While we remain concerned about seismic activity in the state, we still haven’t had a hearing where we’ve had a definite case made that a specific operator is associated with any specific earthquake activity.”
Source: Dallas Morning News, Anna Kuchment
This is not surprising nor is it funny. Will the RRC deny the link between fracking related earthquakes until we have the same level and intensity of frackquakes of Oklahoma?
The cost to homeowners of denying frackquakes.
This is the statement of an Irving resident that was delivered at a council meeting this week. Emphasis added by me
Mayor and Council members,
In April, SMU seismologists stated that there have been 388 earthquakes in Irving already this year. Professor Hornbach with SMU testified in Austin that there is an “Increased Hazard” for Irving, TX to have larger quakes in the future. The USGS has “Elevated” the risk for larger quakes in North Texas. This is not a “perception” by the media, these are scientific facts.
The damages from these induced earthquakes put a huge economic burden on the citizens of Irving. There is significant structural damage to many of our homes. The earthquake insurance that some have purchased has huge deductibles. Mine is $14,000. If we fix our damaged homes now, only to continue with more earthquakes, the structural damages will have to be dealt with numerous times. It is unacceptable to wait until 2016 for new monitoring equipment and studies to simply collect more data. All the while having more quakes.
There is plenty of scientific evidence to support the fact that Injection Wells cause earthquakes. In 2008, The USGS did a study at the South end of DFW Airport. It was part of a five state study to see if Injection Wells cause earthquakes. They began Injection from Sept. 2008 – Oct. 2008. After 7 weeks, 9 quakes resulted on Oct. 31, 2008. They stopped Injecting at the South end of the airport immediately. Why are we still Injecting at the North end of the airport when the same Balcones Fault Line is affected?
State Geological Surveys have determined that damages result in quakes at Magnitude 2.5. For the Railroad Commission to set a limit of Magnitude 4.0 or above before they will shut down Injection Wells is irresponsible to the citizens of Texas. On May 4, Railroad Commissioner, Ryan Sitton said he has NOT looked at the details of the 11 permanent seismometer stations in North Texas. This is unacceptable. It is time for our city to demand that they be a responsible agency and shut down the two Injection sites at the North end of the airport. At the very least, STOP the Injection until the new studies are completed.
There are thousands of Injection Wells in the U.S., only a few are problematic. Shutting down 2 of the wells will not hurt oil and gas profits.
When our elected officials deny the science, they are condemning property owners to huge losses in order to protect the profits of the oil and gas industry. This puts a huge tax on the people and gives a giant subsidy to the oil and gas industry.
We did not elect them to destroy people’s property. We elected them to protect us.
It is past time for the city of Irving to protect the safety and well being of it’s residents by taking action.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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From an engineer friend:
#1 – don’t tell anyone anything
#2 – If you have to tell…confuse
#3 – If not confused – bury in hardcopy documents that are largely numbers…
#4 – If not buried nor confused – claim the data is not reliable and not scientific…
#5 – If suit goes to court – settle without verdict with Iron-Clade/Titanium confidentiality clause for plantiff and ALL descendents
#6 – If suit goes to jury or judge declare bankruptcy and move to different state and re-incorporate
#7 – Never make a deep pocket – keep NO cash or real assets on company books – lease everything from an outside partnership
Lance Irwin says
I imagine an RRC seismologists day is spent being the lonely guy with nothing to contribute staring at a blank wall. It took RRC so long to find him because they had to get a guy with a credential and a total willingness to be the laughingstock of the seismologist community .
I need a like button for comments.
The RRC needs to be taken off of public funding. The RRC should be allowed to get their funding from the O&G companies and other polluting orgs. in Texas–and nothing would change(except the saved tax money)!
Anonymous NY fan says
Being the chump Craig Pearson not only worked for Halliburton, Arco Resource, & Teledyne, he also is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, I’m sure his Think Tank education was paid for by them as well. It’s not too much of a stretch that this chump’s loyalties lie with his corporate cronies. And, being this ‘gas……e’ is also VP, of Upton County Water District, sounds like you have a fox in the hen house. http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/media/22997/seismologist_resume.pdf