In 2008, there were just 29 earthquakes in the Midwest. Three years later, after fracking became widespread, the figure had more than quadrupled to 134. Most of them were clustered close to wells.

After a series of earthquakes occurred earlier this year in Youngstown, Ohio, the state banned gas companies from using deep-injection wells for water disposal.

The problem is that homes outside natural earthquake areas aren't built to withstand even the smallest tremor. Nor do insurers offer earthquake coverage in these regions.

Even the West Coast isn't immune. Since 1924, the Baldwin Hills Oil Field in Los Angeles has been a source of tension between residents and the Plains Exploration and Production Company, which runs the 1,000-acre plot. Last year, the company settled a class-action lawsuit filed by neighbors who claimed that wells contaminated their air and increased the rate of earthquakes.

Now the company, which has largely relied on conventional drilling techniques, plans to frack in the same area. California doesn't regulate or track fracking, giving gas companies free reign to do as they please.

Despite the industry wreaking havoc wherever it goes, America's politicians have decided to look the other way. On June 12, an anonymous source in New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration told the New York Times that Cuomo was set to lift the ban in his state, one of the final fracking battlegrounds in the nation. (Cuomo's office did not respond to interview requests.)

Less than an hour south of the New York border, near the town of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, former residents of the Riverdale Mobile Home Park can be found camping at the edge of Route 220, holding signs that read "Save Riverdale!" and "No Fracking!"

In February, they learned that Richard Leonard, who owns the Riverdale land, had sold it to Aqua America, which supplies fracking companies with water. Residents were ordered to vacate the park by the end of May. Some had lived there for more than 30 years.

In a joint venture with Range Resources, Aqua America plans to spend $12 million turning the land into a pump station, taking 3 million gallons of water a day from the Susquehanna River. Residents have written and called the company but have yet to receive a single response. The only contact they've had was with a Range security guard, who showed up to take photos of them setting up camp outside the trailer park.

Nor has the state been any more receptive. Aqua America just happens to be owned by Nicholas DeBenedictis, former head of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources.

"We just want it all to stop," resident Gerlinda Trimble says. Riverdale is located in Lycoming County, home to more than 667 wells, which have been cited for environmental violations 474 times. One toxic spill dumped 13,000 gallons of fracking fluid into a stream. "It's enough now. They've poisoned our land and now they're taking our homes."

Told that Governor Cuomo might lift the moratorium in New York, Trimble simply shakes her head. "I'll pray for them," she says.

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6 comments
jozy32k
jozy32k

For all in favor of fracking: Why don't you move your family to these areas and see what your grandchildren and great grandchildren have to say with their birth defects and cancer. Y'all must be ostriches with you heads in that so called "sand". You want to talk about green energy, let's talk about what God DID give us, like solar power, wind power, etc. None of which pollute the land or it's people. We are a killer race and the one's we are killing are ourselves. I'm sure I'll get a bunch of flack for these comments, but in the end, y'all will have to answer to God for what you have done to his gift to us. 

gladesman
gladesman

This all sounds real BAD AND SAD but we need sources of energy.

 

Environmental agencies organizations do their best to obstruct every oil drilling venture that is planned and have stopped many over the years and continue to do so.

 

Maybe fracking wouldn't have become so popular if these well intentioned zealots had foreseen the unintended consequences of their efforts to stop liquid oil production all over America.

 

It looks as though fracking companies foresaw potential environmental attacks and had laws passed ahead of time to protect (armor plate) their investors and investments from environmental extremists attacks.

 

Until a few politicians have their water faucets light up in flames there probably won't be much corrective action taken.

erikdenning
erikdenning

Absolutely. The idea that pumping endless gallons of high water pressure mixed with literally hundreds of chemicals underground in attempts to tear apart the earth and release pockets of gasses can't in any way be harmful. It's nature's way and god's will. Who needs a stable underground anyway?

krs0
krs0

Sorry, but old man Mayer is nuttier than a shithouse rat.

 

john_ellingson
john_ellingson

The attack on fracking is an attack by the woefully uniformed; driven by ignorance and emotion and completely lacking in any evidence.

nicademus69_us
nicademus69_us

 @erikdenning Except it isn't hundreds of chemicals they pump into the ground. It's river water and sand. Occasionally they use glass beads instead of sand. These reason this guys has NG in his water is due to a bad casing and cement job. It's understandable for you to be worried but if people knew a little more about geophysics they would know that 95% of these made up scenarios are impossible. Drilling engineers wish their fracks did what these loony people say they do.

 
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