Oklahoma, a region not known for seismic activity, has experienced a rash of earthquakes since 2009, the same year area oil companies began using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to shatter deep rock layers to extract oil and gas.
The shale plays where hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, dominated the majority of oil and gas drilling were also the same plays where water use was highest, ranging between 2.6 million gallons and 9.7 million gallons of water per well.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced the decision Monday, saying a ban was the “only reasonable alternative” after “years of exhaustive research and examination of the science and facts.”
Opposition to hydraulic fracturing has stymied development of the U.K.’s shale industry since a drilling moratorium was lifted in 2012. The U.K. government has promoted fracking by cutting taxes and relaxing planning rules to try to lower reliance on imported gas.
Wells that pumped more than 12 million gallons of saltwater into the ground per month were far more likely to trigger quakes than those that put lesser amounts per month, the study from the University of Colorado found.
The site, called FrackFeed.com, is an attempt by supporters to wrest control of the debate of the controversial completion technique, re-framing their view of hydraulic fracturing in a hip, fresh way in an effort to reclaim some of the ground lost to opponents who have been outpacing them on social media.
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