How to make an earthquake

I have already written about the risk of pollution and the global warming effect of exploiting shale gas. Many dismiss these concerns, but there is scientific evidence that supports the dangers of exploiting shale gas. Recently another unforeseen danger of shale gas exploitation has come to light – the possibility that the fracking process in shale gas collection, which uses underground explosions created by pumping water sand and chemicals at very high pressure into the underground rock to release the gas embedded in the shale, may set of local earthquakes.

In the North West of England two recent earthquakes have been geological associated with shale underground explosions. One happened in Poulton Le Fylde on April’s fool’s day and another also in Lancashire.

The British geological Survey warns that any underground explosions can set off earthquakes at depth and the company that is drilling for the shale gas has just suspended operations and will keep them suspended until data from the explosions and the earthquakes has been analysed.

In South Wales’s Vale of Glamorgan there are plans to also exploit shale gas which the local authority has approved. Those opposed to drilling there now will cite earth quakes along with water contamination and the global warming effect of extracting shale gas as reasons for the local authority to revisit the matter.

Fossil fuel has almost always been extracted without thought for the environment. If it comes to making money or protecting the environment, the making of money always wins. In the United Kingdom it is estimated that there are sufficient reserves of shale gas to keep us in gas for eighteen months, and it seems that the present judgement of those permitting the exploitation of shale gas is that eighteen months worth of gas is well worth the global warming emissions that the process creates and the risk of drinking water contamination that might occur.

In the United Kingdom the official line is that our requirements for shale gas extraction are much tougher than those in the United States where there has been methane leakage into drinking water systems. However strict our requirements accidents will happen, and while we have renewables such as thermal solar to keep us warm do we really need to take risks of this nature?

In New York State the Attorney General has started legal proceedings to require better risk assessments for fracking and may seek a ban on fracking until a full procedure is implemented to make it safe, as far as water contamination is concerned.

You can read more about shale gas extraction and it dangers at

https://robertkyriakides.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/3791/ and https://robertkyriakides.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/the-global-warming-effect-of-extracting-gas-from-shale/

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