by Gareth Hughes
New studies published in one of the most prestigious scientific journals Science, highlights the risks that fracking can cause and increase the likelihood of earthquakes.
New Zealand is not called ‘the shaky isles’ for nothing and we need to be very careful about increasing the risk of earthquakes in our already earthquake prone country.
The research finds “Powerful earthquakes thousands of kilometers away can trigger swarms of minor quakes near wastewater-injection wells like those used in oil and gas recovery.”
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment in her interim fracking report couldn’t guarantee that best-practise was being enforced through regulation in New Zealand and when it comes to fracking-induced earthquakes basic steps such as the UK Government’s traffic light system to avoid causing earthquakes aren’t used. These studies shows that we just don’t know enough about this kind of drilling and the risks it can cause and it is a worrying we could see a massive expansion of fracking in New Zealand increasing this risk.
This increased risk of earthquakes (triggered by other earthquakes) at fracking sites is just one of a number of concerns associated with this controversial drilling technique so the Greens say a moratorium is still needed.