Numerous environmental studies have shown that the process of fracking is directly linked to an increase in earthquakes. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) have released the annual earthquake hazard map for the United States. The risk of earthquakes across the nation has decreased; however, Oklahoma's risk has increased significantly due to the amount of fracking across the state. The unexpected good news is a decrease in earthquake risks has been shown in Texas and Arkansas. This is mainly due to the decrease in injection activity in these two states, making the case against fracking even stronger.

The evidence

In early September of last year, Oklahoma experienced its strongest earthquake in quite some time. Ranking in at a whooping 5.6M, the USGS stated that this earthquake came from the core of the North Atlantic tectonic plate. This is notable because no grinding nor grating occurs at this level. Scientists believe that two segments in the same tectonic plate slid past each other abruptly after one was struck. This is one of the well known hazards of fracking. Fracking earthquakes have caused significant damage and an average of 12 toxic spills every year. Explosions are used deep inside the earth to force natural gases to the surface. This can cause methane to leak out and pollute water sources, as seen in Queensland, Australia when residents noticed that the Condamine River was on fire.

Trump and DAPL

In first few weeks as acting President of the United States, Donald Trump has made it clear of his intentions to limit conservation and environmentalism. He replaced the head of the Environmental Protection Agency with climate change denier Scott Pruitt, cut all government grants and funding to the agency, and gagged both the EPA and the National Parks Service.

He also gave the green light for the continuation of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Local residents have been protesting this pipeline to no avail. It is unclear whether or not Trump will take this new information pertaining to earthquake risks due to fracking from the USGS seriously.

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