From shortly after noon on a Saturday earlier this month until later that night, it seemed that all anyone could talk about was the earthquake that hit us. Being that the last earthquake to originate in Michigan was in 1994, a shake like this was something a lot of us had never felt before or that a lot of us don’t remember feeling. Through scouring the Internet, it seems that there are two conclusions to this rare Michigan occurrence. Either there are deep, hidden faults in Michigan or these earthquakes are a result of fracking.
“Fracking” is the common term for hydraulic fracturing, a pretty common practice for obtaining natural gases and oils. While this is a great way to keep business booming for those in the fossil fuels business, our earth is taking the toll from the repetitive injection of fluids—usually chemical-filled water, according to the BBC News website—at high pressures, which is causing fissures deep in the ground. Setting aside the massive amounts of water used for this process that keeps America focused on oil consumption and away from more renewable energy sources, it is these fissures that make the earth more susceptible to earthquakes.
Whether the fissures created by fracking is the reason for what happened earlier this month or not, it cannot be denied that fracking, in general, does contribute to the recent increase of earthquakes. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) stated “Deep injection of wastewater is the primary cause of the dramatic rise in detected earthquakes and the corresponding increase in seismic hazard in the central U.S.”
This recent earthquake, which was near the Kalamazoo area of Michigan, was just 35 miles away from where the strongest quake the state has ever experienced hit, according to mlive.com–a quake which reached 4.6 on the Richter Scale in 1947. The fact that both of these earthquakes are in a fracking area raises suspicion as to who, or what, is to blame.