Fracking Threat: It Gets Worse

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Feel that 3.0-magnitude earthquake Tuesday morning in central Oklahoma?

Well, here’s something else to shake things up even more in the growing case to be made against hydraulic fracturing: Possible nuclear disaster.

The site Truthout recently published an article in which experts argue that a cavern that stores radioactive waste near Carlsbad, New Mexico could be threatened by nearby hydraulic fracturing or fracking activity. Energy companies, according to the article, are drilling and establishing fossil fuel wells within five miles of the site.

According to the article:

Given that it is already well known that fracking causes earthquakes, it is clear that the nuclear waste storage site is now in danger of having its structural integrity compromised.

The site is part of the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP), which was established to store radioactive waste. It’s one of the deepest and largest such facilities in the world.

Could a major leak of that radioactive waste make its way to Oklahoma?

Of course, here in Oklahoma we know all about fracking, a process in which chemicals and water are injected by high pressure into the ground to release oil and gas. Our new and growing earthquake problem, though, appears to be caused by the injection wells that store the wastewater from the process, according to scientists.

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake rumbled Edmond Tuesday morning, but that’s nothing unusual anymore. It’s all just part of our reality now in a state once known more for its killer tornadoes than its seismic activity.

Oklahoma was ranked second in the nation among the lower 48 states for earthquakes 3.0-magnitude or higher in 2013. The state has already surpassed that total this year.

Oil and gas industry leaders continue to argue that there’s no definitive proof that their drilling processes are causing the huge number of earthquakes here and elsewhere in this country’s current fracking boom, and state leaders and a complacent corporate media are happy to oblige their argument.

Here are some questions: Are we going to experience a major earthquake soon in this area that causes massive damage? Will that wake up our state leaders? What is the structural impact of so many repeated earthquakes on our property and buildings? What are the legal ramifications of human-caused earthquakes?