Oil and Gas Disposal Wells May Be to Blame for Texas Quakes

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tornadoes, maybe. Even hurricanes. But Texans are not used to feeling rumbling earthquakes in their state. At least, they weren't used to it until recently, when earthquakes began to happen more frequently around the Dallas-Fort Worth area in northern Texas.

While the cause of these quakes has yet to be officially determined, scientists and citizens are sure that leftover liquid in oil and gas disposal wells are causing plates to shift underground. That translates into an earthquake on land. And Texas has had more than 50 since 2008.

KUT reporter Mose Buchele notes that this story has taken on a national spin. But local politicians wary of the intervention of the federal government are unlikely to give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency a warm welcome.


Mose Buchele, KUT News

Produced by:

Joe Hernandez

Comments [5]

Amy B from New Brunswick, NJ

They inject fracking fluid, a cocktail of industrial liquids, into fracking wells. NOT water, stop saying they inject water into fracking wells.

Jan. 23 2013 03:22 PM
dlmc from Brooklyn

So the cause of the quakes - NOT DETERMINED. The Obama administration EPA hasn't even found a way to blame this on fracking yet. Then we have SPECULATION as to what the different political reactions MIGHT be if scientific evidence actually proved this was happening.

Why is Buchele identified as a "reporter" when this is an opinion piece.

Jan. 23 2013 10:38 AM
Laurie heller from Jerussalem

I am listening in jerusalem - better for you to focus your attention on the victims in Syria than which star lip sinks their songs, come on guys, there are serious stories that we count on you to expose to the light of day.

Jan. 23 2013 10:05 AM

The coal, oil, gas and nuclear commodities industry -- the Commodities Industrial Complex -- has so successfully manipulated its vast public relations, political and infrastructure network that we and our government simply ignore its enormous environmental impact. Finding, mining/drilling, refining, storing, transporting, and locally storing a commodity results in enormous GHG emissions*. All that goes on just to create even more disastrous quantities of GHGs and waste while burning them -- simply to boil water or spin a turbine with its deadly exhaust!

Using the heat of the Earth in place provides a spectacular alternative. Expediting its development could actually change our focus from production of commodities -- and the concomitant destruction of our environment -- to the wise use of energy itself.

It is my contention that we need a focused, federally sponsored effort -- similar to the Apollo program or the interstate highway system -- to promote, refine and develop Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) to tap the unlimited and pollution-free resource within 10 miles of everywhere on Earth -- straight down. Within several decades of such an effort we could supply practically all base-load electricity with virtually no greenhouse gas emissions -- and dramatically reduce humanity's energy "footprint"! Not only could we generate electricity, but could also provide heat directly -- to a military base or airport, for instance.

Existing geothermal and EGSs generate no greenhouse gases; use only the heat of the earth from directly beneath the facility; use conventional generation technology above ground; feed the existing electrical grid; and cost-effectively, competitively generate electricity. see http://thnktnk.net/drill.html

Employed 40 years in information technology, primarily in the publishing industry, I have served as programmer, analyst, project manager and director of publishing, editorial and operations systems. Independently since 2007, I have studied and written about the benefits and economics of geothermal systems. Most recently, I have focused specifically on direct electricity generation called Enhanced (or Engineered) Geothermal Systems (EGSs). I have attended geothermal conferences, gathered information from academic, industry and power generation companies, visited geothermal generation facilities and spoken directly with international financial, engineering, construction and political resources.

Jan. 23 2013 09:34 AM
Dan from New York

Uh... A little bit late to the game, huh ?

Jan. 23 2013 09:12 AM

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