Youngstown, Ohio Mayor Buys Earthquake Insurance After Quake Caused By Fracking

Martin Luff/CC BY 2.0

The earthquake that struck Youngstown, Ohio last weekend has been attributed to fracking operations in the area. The injection well associated with the quake—which was not the first, but was the largest—has been shut down, but Charles P. Sammarone, the mayor of Youngstown, is taking a little extra precaution.

Bloomberg reports that two days after the earthquake, he said, "I called my insurance man and got earthquake insurance.”

He also said, “You lose your whole house, that’s your life savings, and if you have no money or no insurance to replace it, then what do you do?”

More from Bloomberg:

There have been 11 earthquakes in this northeastern Ohio city since D&L Energy Inc. began injecting drilling brine, a byproduct of hydraulic fracturing, 9,200 feet (2,804 meters) underground in December 2010. The strongest, magnitude 4.0, hit last week on New Year’s Eve.

Sammarone said he has asked the City Council to pass a resolution tonight supporting state Representative Robert F. Hagan, a city Democrat who has called for a moratorium on so- called fracking and injection-well activity “until we can conclude it’s safe.”

Republican Governor John Kasich and the Ohio (STOOH1) Department of Natural Resources consider the earthquakes isolated occurrences that are being addressed, said Rob Nichols, a gubernatorial spokesman. Injections will continue at the other 177 such wells without interrupting shale-gas development that may produce thousands of jobs, he said.

As Alex explained the other day, fracking has caused dozens of earthquakes in other states and overseas; it also poisons plants and trees and makes drinking water flammable.

Tags: Energy | Fracking | Natural Gas | Ohio