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A new scientific study confirms that pumping fracking fluids into the ground increases seismic activity. It's grim news as Illinois begins a fracking rush in major seismic zones.

The scientists looked at three big quakes: the Tohuku-oki earthquake in Japan in 2011 (magnitude 9), the Maule in Chile in 201 (an 8.8 magnitude), and the Sumatra in Indonesia in 2012 (an 8.6). They found that, as much as 20 months later, those major quakes triggered smaller ones in places in the Midwestern US where fluids have been pumped underground for energy extraction.
Unless I missed a major section of the bill, Illinois' new fracking rules haven't found a way to regulate an increase in earthquakes.

The state budget was the biggest concern during the last session of the legislature as Governor Quinn struggles to find money to pay for the state's pension obligation. There was frequent talk among legislators of how much state revenue would be generated by fracking. Illinois is attempting to partially solve its budget problem at the expense of the water supply, public safety, and natural environment of politically weak, rural portions of the state.

Amazingly, the Governor convinced the staff of several environmental groups to go along with what may be remembered as the greatest environmental injustice in state history. Hopefully, other states will learn from Illinois' mistake as residents suffer the consequences of fracking that can't be safely regulated.

Originally posted to Willinois on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:28 PM PDT.

Also republished by Land of Lincoln Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Our local State Rep claims....... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

      ...that the bill they passed is the toughest nationwide. Even if that were the truth, what is the rush? Isn't the domestic gas market pretty flush with the stuff nowadays? Prices are a bit depressed, right?

       I don't know what they're going to do about the state pension plan, but that's a very big deal.....

    Compost for a greener piles?

    by Hoghead99 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:39:24 PM PDT

  •  Any earthquakes will be on . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the Illinois Sierra club since they got their "seat at the table" and allowed a "regulatory" state instead of a moratorium.  Regulation won't work to protect the environment.

    "The working class mind is strange and unpredictable" -- Ty Lookwell

    by Illinibeatle on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:50:46 PM PDT

  •  Reminiscent of MTBE Controversy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Willinois, boophus

    Ever since the turn of the last century we've forgotten about how pernicious the MTBE controversy was during the last two decades of the 20th century.  Just how many gasoline stations had MTBE escaping from leaking tanks and migrating fast into the groundwater while heading for major aquifers and rivers.  No one had believed these fluids could migrate as quickly and thoroughly as they did.

    The fluids used in fracking need to be just as mobile and southern Illinois lies in the greater Mississippi drainage basin.  Just how long before the fracking fluids start moving toward the New Madrid fault located at the juncture of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri, just south of where the Ohio River joins the Mississippi.  Oh, yeah, let's see what happens when fracking fluids make the New Madrid fault a little more volatile.  The last time that bad boy went off, they heard church bells chime in New York.  Maybe this time they'll finally hear the bells toll on Wall Street.

    "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

    by PrahaPartizan on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:19:40 PM PDT

    •  No need for migration. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The new madrid seismic zone extends into southern Illinois regions where fracking is planned.

      •  Things Happen Faster in Modern Times (0+ / 0-)

        Well, that will just mean "incidents" are likely to occur sooner, since we all know events unfold faster in our modern era.  Fracking in some of the relatively stable geological areas which have seen most of the fracking is bad enough, but doing it in what is potentially the most dangerous seismic zone in the nation raises some very important questions.  For sure, none of the cities along the Mississippi are built to withstand a fracking-fluid boosted seismic event on steroids which we'd be likely to experience.

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:59:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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