No surprise here. Voters are going to have to decide if they are willing to live with these consequences. It won’t be easy to break the links between the gas drilling companies and politicians due to the money involved, so it would be a fight to stop the fracking.
A boom in gas production using hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” of natural gas has played a role in decreasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil and coal and helped cut energy prices, but evidence is mounting that the process may come at a price. “To the extent that our nation wants to become independent of meeting its energy needs in the coming years, the increased earthquakes are going to go along with that,” said Art McGarr, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif. “The problems are only going to grow in the future.” State officials shut down all drilling around a brine-injection well after a magnitude-4.0 quake rumbled through the Youngstown, Ohio, on New Year’s Eve day. That was the 11th earthquake in 2011 in the region, which is not considered seismically active. Experts are also investigating a magnitude-5.6 earthquake east of Oklahoma City that has been linked to gas drilling there, McGarr said.