USGS Official: Fracking Doesn’t Cause Tremors


A U.S. Geological Survey official said Monday that fracking does not cause earthquakes, as Vice President Joe Biden suggested during a Norfolk, Va. appearance last week.

During the CNBC panel, Bill Ellsworth called the supposed “direct link” between fracking and recent earthquakes incorrect, and said that while there is a connection between the disposal of waste water and earthquakes, there are “really straight-forward fixes” for the problem.

BRIAN SULLIVAN: Well said. And just leave you with this: Bill Ellsworth, looking at a very reputable site on the web, not going to say by name because we all make mistakes, his executive summary report is geologists have made direct links between fracking and recent earthquakes. That sounds like you’re saying that’s a completely incorrect statement.

BILL ELLSWORTH: It is incorrect. What we’ve found is there’s a link between disposal of waste water and earthquakes. And in many of these cases, it’s been fixed by either shutting down the offending well or reducing the volume that’s being produced. So there are really straight-forward fixes to the problem when earthquakes begin to occur.

SULLIVAN: Bill Richardson and Bill Ellsworth, gentlemen, both a complicated issue, you made it clear. Thank you very much for joining us on CNBC.