Oil companies should pay cost of extra inspectors
Did you hear about the earthquakes in Oklahoma earlier this month? No one was hurt and only about a dozen homes were damaged, but rattlers are rare in the Sooner State and so the event drew a lot of attention.An interesting, if misleading, theory about the cause of the quakes soon bubbled to the surface.The cause of the temblors, some speculated, was potentially related to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a common practice in Oklahoma and a fast-growing method of extracting trapped oil and gas deposits in Northern Colorado by injecting water, sand and chemicals deep underground.This fracking-caused-the-quake line of thinking generated more than its fair share of headlines, blog postings and musings. It also is largely without merit and, more troubling, discredits groups that have expressed more legitimate concerns about fracking operations.Yes, Oklahoma has seen a huge increase in quakes in the past couple of years. It typically experienced about 50 small quakes a year - until 2009. Then, the numbers began to climb. Last year, more than 1,000 quakes shook the state. Fracking opponents blame the oil companies.But as Stanford University geophysicist Mark Zoback put it, the typical energy released in tremors triggered
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