WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US government needs to revoke oil and gas leases recently issued in the central United States because of more than 6,000 earthquakes in the past year that are believed to have been caused by fracking, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) said in a press release on Monday.
The CBD is asking the government to pull 11 public fossil fuel leases that were sold last month in the states of Oklahoma and nearby Kansas "over concerns that fracking and underground injection of oil wastewater could increase the risk of earthquakes in these areas, threatening the physical safety and homes of tens of thousands of residents," the release explained.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a process in which water and proprietary chemicals are injected into wells at high pressure to break up rock formations that impede the flow of oil and gas to the well head.
"It’s clear that these man-made practices are increasing the amount of earthquake activity near and around drilling sites," CBD spokeswoman Wendy Park stated.
Many scientists believe fracking, as well as the release of wastewater from oil wells, causes earthquakes by lubricating underground faults.