Energy Companies Insist Arkansas Earthquakes Have Nothing To Do With Fracking

Energy company representatives are, of course, skeptical of any relation between their hydraulic fracking and the recent swarms of earthquakes in Arkansas. They call the reports "anecdotal" -- hey, what could go wrong, right?

GUY, Ark. — Everybody around here is getting used to the earthquakes, and that does not sit well with Dirk DeTurck.

Dirk DeTurck pointed to drilling equipment from his home. “I think people are getting comfortable” with earthquakes, he said.

He sent out 600 fliers and made, well, had to be around 100 phone calls, trying to attract people to his meeting on earthquake preparedness. And yet on a recent Tuesday night, he stood in the local school cafeteria and looked out at only a dozen or so people, including two women from the local extension homemakers club who had scheduled their own meeting on the topic a couple of weeks later.

“I think people are getting comfortable,” said Mr. DeTurck, a former Navy mechanic. “I mean, they have in California. They’ve become real comfortable with the shaking.”

Whether they have become comfortable is debatable, but the people of Guy, a town of 563 about an hour north of Little Rock, have had to learn to live with earthquakes.

[...] Mr. DeTurck and many others described a boom followed by a quick, alarming shift, a sensation one man compared to watching the camera dive off a cliff in an Imax movie. Some say they have felt dozens, others only four or five, and still others say they have only heard them.

They do, however, have similar suspicions about the cause.

Several years ago, the gas companies arrived, part of a sort of rush in Arkansas to drill for gas in a geological formation called the Fayetteville shale.


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