An industry expert has disputed claims that Monday’s earthquake in Southern California, which measured 4.4 on Richter scale, was directly caused by hydraulic fracturing, or more commonly known as fracking.
Catherine Reheis-Boyd, who serves as CEO and president of the Western States Petroleum Association termed the Tuesday motion by Los Angeles council members Mike Bonin and Paul Koretz to investigate the link between fracking and the earthquake as uninformed and crazy.
“They are taking advantage of a political situation,” she said. “It’s not fair to take the action they are taking when they have not taken a moment to understand the issue.”
Fracking, a technique used in extracting oil and gas trapped underground by pumping sand, chemicals and water at high pressure, has ignited widespread condemnation from environmental activists who argue it contaminates groundwater and air quality.
The epicenter of Monday’s tremor was around Westwood in Southern California. Bonin, Koretz and Bernard Parks requested the city departments of Safety and Emergency Management and Building to cooperate with state and federal agencies to investigate whether fracking caused Monday’s earthquake.
However, Reheis-Boyd argued that research has found no correlation between earthquakes and fracturing. She backed her argument using a 2012 fracking study carried out on the PXP Inglewood Oil Field. The study, by Matheson Mining Consultants Inc, found that hydraulic activities in the field “did not trigger seismic activity”. However, the study acknowledged that the presence of minor spikes, which is termed as “imperceptible on the surface” and blamed them on the local traffic.
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