Missing detail...
Feb 07, 2013 | 1710 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Jan. 25 Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported a 3.9 earthquake centered near Nucla, Colorado, reading, “Deep-well injection likely cause of quake... Though a precise connection can’t yet be drawn, all signs are pointing to a deep-well injection project by the Bureau of Reclamation as the genesis of an unusually large earthquake.”

Also on January 25th, the Salt Lake City Tribune ran an article, “Brine well may have caused Colorado-Utah earthquake.”

The Moab Sun News reported, “... it might have been caused by a high pressure well that injects brine 16,000 feet into the Earth.” The short article ended by saying, “Agency officials say the brine is forced into fissures that sometimes crack open wider under the pressure and cause earthquakes.”

The Times-Independent never mentioned possible human involvement (disposal of waste water) as the cause of the earthquake. This article also put a very benign slant on the earthquake by quoting former San Francisco residents now living in La Sal as saying the quake was “very mild” and “it wasn’t the real heavy jolting type.”

StateImpact Texas, a collaboration of local public radio stations KUT Austin, KUHF Houston and NPR published a report entitled “How Fracking Disposal Wells Are Causing Earthquakes in Dallas-Fort Worth – If you live in the Barnett Shale around Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, you may have noticed the ground has become a bit shakier in the last few years. And a new study by a University of Texas seismologist says that the wells used to dispose of fracking waste water are responsible. What’s more, there have been more than eight times as many earthquakes in the area than previously thought.”

With the BLM oil and gas lease sales later this month, and local and national controversy over fracking for fossil fuels, I am very disappointed that the long-standing local paper slanted its article toward how mild the quake felt rather than include any mention about a possible connection between earthquakes and waste water injection, as other papers did. As a California native, I have experienced magnitude 3 thru 7.3 earthquakes. For obvious reasons, I don’t want human caused quakes here. I also want balanced, interrogative reporting in my news.

—Carol Mayer


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