A former ExxonMobil Executive V.P. turned community do-gooder, Louis W. Allstadt, discussed the very real dangers of hydraulic fracking in a recent interview, and one of the takeaways was his point about the release of methane gas into the atmosphere-
The industry will tell you that the mile or two between the zone that’s being fracked is not going to let anything come up.
But there are already cases where the methane gas has made it up into the aquifers and atmosphere. Sometimes through old well bores, sometimes through natural fissures in the rock. What we don’t know is just how much gas is going to come up over time. It’s a point most people haven’t gotten. It’s not just what’s happening today. We’re opening up channels for the gas to creep up to the surface and into the atmosphere. And methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas in the short term – less than 100 years – than carbon dioxide.
Major earthquakes thousands of miles away can trigger reflex quakes in areas where fluids have been injected into the ground from fracking and other industrial operations, according to a study published in the journal Science on Thursday.
Previous studies, covered in a recent Mother Jones feature from Michael Behar, have shown that injecting fluids into the ground can increase the seismicity of a region. This latest study shows that earthquakes can tip off smaller quakes in far-away areas where fluid has been pumped underground.
So, let’s see. Fracking causes earthquakes, and now the earthquakes are causing more earthquakes. Fracking is also responsible for releasing harmful greenhouses gases, like methane, into the atmosphere. It poisons well water and ground soil, thereby contaminating the food supply and will very likely dig up the dinosaurs and kill them all over again.
Why are we doing this, exactly?