Fracking is the process of injecting water at high pressure into rocks deep underground, which can cause earthquakes because it can sometimes lift the Earth’s surface. Since the 1960’s, geologists have known that it is possible to cause quakes by pushing fluids into the ground. On September 3, 2016, Oklahoma experienced their strongest earthquake that reached a magnitude of 5.8 and as a result, “regulators ordered drillers controlling 37 disposal wells to immediately shut down”, according to Nick Cunningham. Regulators around the United States should follow Oklahoma in shutting down the wells or ban fracking. The effects of these earthquakes cause damage to the resident’s homes and the buildings and of course fear.
In 1961, crews drilled a deep well outside Denver, known as the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, in a chemical weapons facility. Within months of workers’ pumping into the well of hazardous waste, the residents felt tremors. Between 1962 and 1966, more than 700 small to modest quakes shook the ground. A local geologist named David Evans noticed that injection volume and pressure were equivalent to earthquake rates. In a paper in 1966 he concluded that the well is likely to be responsible for the quakes. He wrote “it is believed that a stable situation is being made unstable by the application of fluid pressure” (Anna Kuchment).
In the year 2016, there have been more than 600 earthquakes in Oklahoma and were “nearly all traced to the underground injection of wastewater left over from oil and gas production”, claims the NBCNews. There was a time when Oklahoma experienced 19 earthquakes all in one week. Throughout all these earthquakes, many buildings and houses have been brought down or are left with shattered windows or are unstable. The earthquake that was described to most powerful in memory had damaged a historic building that was about 100 years old. Three homes in Pawnee county were damaged. The earthquake shook all the way to the eighth floor of the Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, terrifying the nurses and patients. Inspections were done to the state highway, turnpike bridges, and dams, which turned out to be minor cosmetic damage. During this earthquake, a man was protecting a child form a falling fireplace inside a home and suffered a minor head injury. Luckily, he was the only reported injury.
The people that live in Oklahoma are scared for their lives because of these earthquakes. After the strongest earthquake that Oklahoma experienced, social media became alive with people scared and panicking. ‘I thought my whole trailer was going to tip over, it was shaking it so bad,’ stated Cindy Roe, a resident from Cushing, Oklahoma. ‘It was loud and all the lights went out and you could hear things falling on the ground. It was awful and I don’t want to have another one”. This earthquake was said to be felt from Iowa all the way down to Texas. Right away, Twitter started to blow up with startled reports. One Iowan asked, “is it the end of the world?”. There is no doubt that the residents of Oklahoma and other people that felt the earthquake are nervous due to the fact that they are sitting on an earthquake prone region. Other residents on the other hand, have become increasingly angry, and environmental groups have sued, according to Anna Kuchment. “This is a public safety issue, and there’s been a lot of denial and ignoring of the problem,” says Wallace, who has joined neighbors to push for the shutdown of nearby wastewater wells.
Overall, there has been a 5,000% increase in earthquakes in Oklahoma ever since fracking began. It has been proven that fracking can cause earthquakes. Regulators from all over the U.S should shut down all of the fracking wells and make it illegal. Reasons being is because hundreds of earthquakes happen because of fracking. The earthquakes destroy cities and causes distress among the residents of Oklahoma, along with other people that are rattled by them. Ken Root commented on this topic stating, “we are in a lot more danger from what we do to each other than what Mother Nature may do to us”.