Brace for more earthquakes in southern Illinois thanks to fracking 

Brace for more earthquakes in southern Illinois thanks to fracking

A new scientific study confirms that pumping fracking fluids into the ground increases seismic activity. It's grim news as Illinois begins a fracking rush in major seismic zones.

The scientists looked at three big quakes: the Tohuku-oki earthquake in Japan in 2011 (magnitude 9), the Maule in Chile in 201 (an 8.8 magnitude), and the Sumatra in Indonesia in 2012 (an 8.6). They found that, as much as 20 months later, those major quakes triggered smaller ones in places in the Midwestern US where fluids have been pumped underground for energy extraction.

Unless I missed a major section of the bill, Illinois' new fracking rules haven't found a way to regulate an increase in earthquakes.

The state budget was the biggest concern during the last session of the legislature as Governor Quinn struggles to find money to pay for the state's pension obligation. There was frequent talk among legislators of how much state revenue would be generated by fracking. Illinois is attempting to partially solve its budget problem at the expense of the water supply, public safety, and natural environment of politically weak, rural portions of the state.

Amazingly, the Governor convinced the staff of several environmental groups to go along with what may be remembered as the greatest environmental injustice in state history. Hopefully, other states will learn from Illinois' mistake as residents suffer the consequences of fracking that can't be safely regulated.