Happy Fracking New Year

An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.0 struck an area of Ohio not prone to earthquakes on News Year's Eve and this quickly lead some to speculate that fracking may be the cause.

On New Year’s Eve, a magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck northeastern Ohio, the second quake to strike the region in a week. Saturday’s earthquake, which occurred in an area not typically known for this type of natural disaster, is being traced back to fluid injection wells at a Youngstown fracking site. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, “the quake was the 11th over the last eight months in Mahoning County, all within two miles of the injection wells.” They also point out that injection wells have been linked to earthquakes in other states as well, including Arkansas, West Virginia, Colorado and Texas.

That may seem to be a loose connection at best, however the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is now shutting down the wells to investigate.

(Reuters) - Ohio has suspended operations at five deep-well hazardous fluid disposal sites after a series of 11 earthquakes in the Youngstown, Ohio, in the past year, including one on Saturday with a magnitude of 4.0, officials said.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said Sunday it was halting operations at five Mahoning County wells owned by Northstar Disposal Services LLC as a precaution, citing concerns of a possible link between well activity and the quakes.

Regulations on fracking are already less than adequate, but it could be worse. We could have a Republican administration occupying the White House which, by all indications, would not condone or support the rigorous environmental regulations the Obama Administration has.

As we've pointed out before, the House of John Boehner has voted no less than 191 times to undermine environmental regulations.

I expect a TV commercial from the natural gas industry any day now telling me the earthquakes are completely safe.