LONDON — A controversial method of extracting gas from the ground known as fracking was the “highly probable” trigger of earth tremors along England’s coastline this year, according to findings published Wednesday.
British energy firm Cuadrilla Resources said a study of its drilling along Lancashire’s Fylde coast, northwest England, concluded “it is highly probable” that the fracking “did trigger a number of minor seismic events.”
A tremor of magnitude 2.3 on the Richter scale was recorded in the area in April followed by a second of magnitude 1.5 in May.
“The seismic events were due to an unusual combination of geology at the (Preese Hall-1) well site coupled with the pressure exerted by water injection as part of operations,” Cuadrilla said, citing a report it had commissioned.
“This combination of geological factors was extremely rare and would be unlikely to occur together again at future well sites,” it added.
Cuadrilla chief executive Mark Miller said the company “unequivocally accepts” the findings of the report, carried out by a team of independent seismic experts.
Fracking is the drilling of underground shale rock formations by injecting chemicals and water to release trapped natural gas. Opponents of the process say it causes water pollution but energy groups say it drives down gas prices.
Last month the US government unveiled plans to set national standards for wastewater discharges from fracking.
China hits out at ‘bullying’ US over new tariffs
China on Saturday angrily hit out at the latest US tariff hikes on its goods, saying a "bullying" Washington would eventually "eat its own bitter fruit".
European leaders have also warned US President Donald Trump of the dangers of trade skirmishes with China and Europe, which look set to dominate the G7 summit due to begin in France.
Trump on Friday increased existing and planned tariffs on a total of $550 billion in Chinese goods, in response to new tit-for-tat levy hikes announced earlier that day by Beijing on $75 billion of US imports.
A Chinese commerce ministry spokesman on Saturday denounced Washington's "unilateral and bullying trade protectionism".
Mass rallies, crazy decisions, grandiose posturing: This is what living in a dictatorship feels like
Another week of shaking our heads and wondering how much longer we can survive him. Yet again, Donald Trump overwhelmed practically everything with the force of his obscene personality, running his mouth and his thumbs even while he was failing to run the country in any sort of conventional sense. He doesn’t actually do anything, but he dominates everything. Living in America today is like being trapped in a room with him — no doors, no windows, no exits, only Trump and the sound of Trump and the hideous image of Trump, all day, every day, for day after day after day.
This article first appeared in Salon.
Trump officials furious with NRA over ‘dick move’ leak of LaPierre phone call: report
President Donald Trump originally appeared interested in strengthening federal background check laws in the wake of deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Then, after a phone conversation with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre on Tuesday, Trump reportedly assured him that background checks were "off the table" and pivoted to discussing anything but guns.
It was a depressingly familiar moment for Trump, who also previously headfaked toward some minor gun control reforms after the Parkland school shooting and quickly walked them back.