Competing Definitions of ‘Fracking’ Cloud the Debate

A lead researcher on how the disposal of drilling waste water through deep injection wells, causes earthquakes, finds himself giving English lessons to journalists and conference goers.

SAN DIEGO — Here are the facts: “Fracking” does not cause big earthquakes. The underground injection of industrial wastewater can, and sometimes does. Bill Ellsworth is frustrated at how difficult it is getting people to understand this. The senior U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist is on the cutting edge of new research linking earthquakes to the injection of oil and gas drilling waste (EnergyWire, March 29).

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