The oil and gas industry, governments, environmental advocacy groups and others are watching to see whether a series of earthquakes in northeastern Ohio was caused by a nearby fracking operation.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ordered a drilling company to shut down a well in Mahoning County while officials examine seismic and geological data, but the agency said it can’t say whether fracking set off the five temblors felt near the Pennsylvania border on Monday and Tuesday.
To date the fracking debate in Ohio has centered around an insurance problem: is the risk of contamination from fracking quantifiable and if so, can energy companies insure successfully against the known risk.
Now that Ohio is the epicenter (see what I did there?) of the fracking/earthquake causation/correlation question, I sense the debate turning to a precautionary principal debate: Is the small risk of a catastrophic event worth even trying?