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Earthquake rattles Texas near gas fracking wells

East Texas has been shaken by 22 earthquakes that are being blamed on natural gas fracking operations. The latest 2.7 quake hit on Monday, north of Dallas.

On Tuesday, Terrence Henry, a Stateimpact Texas energy and environmental reporter, told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that 70 waster water wells from natural gas fracking operations were the cause of the Texas quakes.

“Researchers have long known that fluid-injection operations can trigger earthquakes. For instance, in 2006 one geothermal energy site triggered four earthquakes in Basel, Switzerland, ranging from 3.1 to 3.4 on the Richter scale. Fracking also appears linked with Oklahoma's strongest recorded quake in 2011, as well as a spate of more than 180 minor tremors in Texas between Oct. 30, 2008, and May 31, 2009,” according to the Huffington Post.

In addition to causing earthquakes in otherwise stable areas, fracking is known to enter drinking water supplies, bringing dangerous chemicals with it. That’s because the 2005 Bush-Cheney Halliburton Loophole allows oil and gas fracking companies to ignore federal standards for clean and safe drinking water.

“For each frack, 80-300 tons of chemicals may be used. Presently, the natural gas industry does not have to disclose the chemicals used, but scientists have identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene,” according to Gasland.

Oil and gas drilling companies deny claims that fracking is causing any problems, despite the fact that there have been numerous incidents of pollution and earthquakes around fracking wells.

Earth Justice said, “Fracking is a dangerous way of getting oil and gas and a shortsighted energy strategy. It's poisoning our air and water.”

Video: The Fuss Over Fracking: The Dilemma of a New Gas Boom

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