VIDEO: Debunking the Link Between ‘Fracking’ and Earthquakes

We’ve all seen the headlines and bold claims: “Fracking causes earthquakes.” But is that true?

As it turns out, the strange need to link hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) to as many societal impacts as possible has created a pretty significant casualty: accuracy. All too often, the stories we see on this subject are confusing wastewater disposal with hydraulic fracturing, and thus they suggest (or simply declare) that a particular process is linked to earthquakes, even though there’s little to no evidence of that.

And while it’s true that hydraulic fracturing does yield wastewater, it’s also true that so-called conventional production yields wastewater, as do a variety of other industrial processes such as manufacturing.

Those facts, however, are no match for the troubling and growing trend on the part of many in the media to run with catchy headlines, even if they aren’t particularly accurate. ‘Fracking causes earthquakes’ is routinely justified because hydraulic fracturing has been redefined to mean literally anything that has to do with developing oil and gas from shale. Tragically, this has also been the playbook of critics and anti-fracking activists from the very beginning.

Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) refers to a particular process, and it shouldn’t be a heavy lift – especially for those whose job is objective reporting of the facts – to differentiate between these different processes, which are each governed by different rules and regulations. Because they’re different. Get the picture?

In EID’s new video, we take a look at what actual experts – geologists, geophysicists, and engineers – have emphasized with respect to “fracking” and earthquakes. Our hope is that the next story on this issue will emphasize accuracy over search engine optimization.

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