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Should Companies Be Fined for Causing Earthquakes?

The Houston Chronicle reports there are growing concerns that increased oil and gas drilling in Texas and Ohio could be causing recent seismic activity in those areas.  If it’s proven that the drilling caused the quakes, fines and civil liability are sure to follow.


via U.S. Geological Survey

This is of special interest in east Texas because since the middle of May, there have been five low intensity earthquakes in northeast Nacogdoches County, where drillers are using hydraulic fracturing — “fracking” — to get oil out of the ground.

It’s reported that experts from the University of Texas and Stephen F. Austin State University are trying to find the quakes’ epicenters and what caused them.  They say “fracking” could have caused them but the jury is still out on that.

via Flickr/ProgressOhio

Whether it did or not, protesters are out in full force in areas where this kind of drilling is going on.

The protesters may have a problem persuading lawmakers to make causing earthquakes illegal, because “fracking” is producing a lot of oil and gas drillers couldn’t reach using traditional drilling methods.

That’s producing income for the drillers and revenue for the states.

It’s also creating thousands of jobs, and no one is complaining about that.

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