America is breaking apart at the seams and this time Donald Trump is not to blame.
Fracking is cracking the U.S. like an egg.
Oil-rich Oklahoma is the epicenter of fracking and the Sooner state is taking a beating. Cities in Oklahoma have noticeable earthquakes daily and they are increasing in severity.
Fracking is when water is pumped into subterranean rock in order to break it apart to reach oil.
Rather than paying the cost, oil and gas companies dispose of the contaminated water under the surface of Oklahoma.
Waste water does not belong in subterranean rock in Oklahoma.
The ground beneath the mid-continent and the majority of the East Coast are made from upper paleozoic sedimentary rocks and has remained relatively stable for the last 600 million years.
Water pumped in is causing the rock to slide because fissures are created from the high pressures. Similar to a fissure forming on an iceberg, once a crack is made, it flows. Oklahoma has fault lines that are 300 million years old, which were inactive until 2009.
Between 1978 and 1999 Oklahoma experienced an average of only 1.6 earthquakes per year.
Suddenly, in 2009, there were 20. Between 2010 through 2012 there were 141.
It escalates from there.
2014 had 585 and 2015 had 890.
Oklahoma racked up 45 percent of all U.S. earthquakes of M3 scale or higher between 2008-2016.
Just as San Diego would be unprepared to handle a tornado, Oklahoma is not ready for earthquakes.
Earthquakes behave differently in the Midwest than on the West Coast because those sedimentary rocks radiate their energy outwards as opposed to West Coast earthquakes where they carry their energy in.
Any time an earthquake happens in Virginia it becomes a very important scientific event. It reveals rare data from the inside of the ancient North American Craton, the largest chunk of Earth’s crust that creates the continent we live on.
The edge of this particular craton ends at Oklahoma which is now engaged in an epic tug of war.
Oil and gas companies could not have picked a worse place to frack and inject destabilizing wastewater.
Nothing is being done about stopping the fracking or the wastewater injection process. There is no government intervention.
Oklahoma seems so endeared to oil production it simply can not be stopped even if it blows the state apart.
California has happy cows, Oklahoma has oil.
Fracking has become the hottest ticket in petroleum mining.
With respect to the technology, it is an incredible engineering accomplishment.
Water made the drilling more cost efficient. Digging for black gold was made cheaper and easier. Unfortunately, the Earth does not like it and is trying to shake it off.
Science again could ride to the rescue.
Scientists from Virginia Tech discovered how bacteria in wastewater can create energy. Lowly germs can convert organics in wastewater and sewage into electrical energy utilizing microbial fuel cells.
Their paper, published in the February 2016 issue of “Nature,” lays out a revolutionary form of capturing electrons from a pair of bacteria working synergistically, formate and lactate.
A bacterial battery can be created in the future, producing the energy needed to treat wastewater at treatment facilities. Wastewater plants across the world currently burn the energy, not create it.
John D. Rockefeller never let waste to go to waste.
In the 1850s, scientists told Rockefeller that the by-product of kerosene, called gasoline, was a volatile and unusable substance.
He knew better.
His stubbornness to pursue experimentation with the chemical lead to the discovery of its properties, finding its use in the combustible engine. More than 160 years later, we are still dependent on gasoline.
“Willful waste makes woeful want,” said Rockefeller’s mother.
We should all be listening to Mother Earth.