The lead author of the USGS report is now directly addressing incorrect media characterizations of the report (like this one, for example), which have all-too-often leaped to the conclusion that the earthquakes observed were linked to hydraulic fracturing.
E&E News has a great story (subs. req’d) explaining that frustration, partially excerpted below:
Here are the facts: ‘Fracking’ does not cause big earthquakes. The underground injection of industrial wastewater can, and sometimes does.
Bill Ellsworth is frustrated at how difficult it is getting people to understand this.
The senior U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist is on the cutting edge of new research linking earthquakes to the injection of oil and gas drilling waste (EnergyWire, March 29). But at last week’s earthquake conference here, he seemed to spend as much time trying to resolve the ‘fracking’ confusion as he did explaining his findings.
Earlier this month, he even found himself arguing with a cable news host about what his own research conclusions were.
‘I was greatly surprised to see how words were being used in the press in ways that were inappropriate,’ Ellsworth said as the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America wrapped up. ‘We don’t see any connection between fracking and earthquakes of any concern to society.’