Letter: Losing ground
“The ground is falling! The ground is falling!” That’s what Chicken Little should be shouting according to a recent article (Frack Quakes?) in The Recorder. Earthquakes were almost unheard of in Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. But in recent years Oklahoma has recorded nearly 150 between January and May. Kansas recorded 56 between last October and April. And Southern Methodist University researchers recorded more than 300 quakes since early December around Azle, Texas.
A photo shows a woman in front of her home in Reno, Texas, that now sits about one foot off the surface of her lawn where it once sat about four inches off. She believes the sinkholes on her property and the drop of her lawn has to do with natural gas drilling.
Natural gas drilling, called hydraulic fracturing or fracking, is anything but natural. This involves blasting water, sand and chemicals deep into underground rock formations to free oil and gas. Seismologists know hydraulic fracturing can cause microquakes, yet they and the oil and gas companies have taken pains to point out that a clear correlation has not yet been established. The companies tell us how clean natural gas is, how pipelines create jobs, but fail to mention the damage and pollution caused by fracking.
The Tennessee Gas Pipeline project endorsed by Gov. Patrick would slice open the top of Massachusetts. A 36-inch pipe carrying high-pressure fracked gas, which would increase the likelihood of leaks, ruptures or explosions, would be going under rivers, through wetlands, protected areas and homeowner properties. Compressor stations placed every 50 to 60 miles would spew out methane, a greenhouse gas over 20 times more powerful than carbon. The high cost of the project would be funded by a new tariff placed on utility rate payers throughout the state, not the company.
Big business would sell its soul to the Devil for a buck. If fracking doesn’t stop, the ground will fall and the Devil will collect. After all, who needs heat in Hell?