Did Fracking Cause The Hawaii Volcano Eruption?
23 May, 2018
On the volcano’s east flank, nearly two-dozen fissures are producing 15,000 tons a day of toxic sulfur dioxide, a level “much higher than seen in recent times,” Bravender said.
Aditionally, Reuters notes that the race at the Puna Geothermal Venture site marked the latest challenge facing authorities during what geologists call an unprecedented, simultaneous eruption at Kilauea’s summit and from giant fissures 25 miles (40 km) down its eastern side.
“Fissures near Puna Geothermal Venture are active and producing lava slowly flowing onto the property,”Civil Defense said in a statement. “This activity has destroyed the former Hawaii Geothermal Project site,” it said referring to the warehouse.
“The authorities in canton Basel City say they will cancel a geothermal energy project, which three years ago caused minor tremors that damaged many buildings.”
“A risk analysis study published on Thursday found that the danger of setting off more earthquakes was too great if drilling at the site resumed.”
“The project was put on hold three years ago after thousands of claims for damage were filed with insurers. Total costs for the damage were around SFr9 million ($8.78 million).”
“The study, commissioned by the canton, concluded that Basel was ‘unfavourable’ for geothermal power generation.”
“It said the resumption of Deep Heat Mining project and its operation over a 30-year period could set off around 200 tremors with a strength of up to 4.5 on the Richter Scale – in 2006, the quakes were about 3.4.”
“This would result in damages up to SFr40 million.”
“The Basel facility drilled five kilometres into the earth. The borehole was designed to be injected with water to capture the extreme heat. Back at the surface, the hot water – at a temperature of around 160° Celsius – would run a steam turbine coupled with a generator.”
“Pumping water underground at geothermal power plants can lead to dangerous earthquakes even in regions not prone to tremors, according to scientists.”
“Prof Emily Brodsky, who led a study of earthquakes at a geothermal power plant in California, said: ‘For scientists to make themselves useful in this field we need to be able to tell operators how many gallons of water they can pump into the ground in a particular location and how many earthquakes that will produce’.”
“It is already known that pumping large quantities of water underground can induce minor earthquakes near to geothermal power generation and fracking sites. However, the new evidence reveals the potential for much larger earthquakes, of magnitude 4 or 5, related to the weakening of pre-existing underground faults through increased fluid pressure.”
“The water injection appears to prime cracks in the rock, making them vulnerable to triggering by tremors from earthquakes thousands of miles away. Nicholas van der Elst, the lead author on one of three studies published on Thursday in the journal Science, said: ‘These [injected] fluids are driving [earthquake] faults to their tipping point’.”
“The analysis of the Californian site showed that for a net injection of 500m gallons of water into the ground per month, there is an earthquake on average every 11 days.”
“Heather Savage, a co-author on the same study said: ‘It is already accepted that when we have very large earthquakes seismic waves travel all over the globe, but even though the waves are small when they reach the other side of the world, they still shake faults [such as the faults induced by geothermal water-injection]. This can trigger seismicity in seismically active areas SUCH AS VOLCANOES where there is already a high fluid pressure.” (emphasis added)
“Long a concern for residents and the target of lawsuits challenging its placement ON AN ACTIVE VOLCANO, the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) is a major safety issue [i.e., chemicals stored at PGV] in the wake of the eruptions and earthquakes that have shaken the Big Island for days, government officials say.” (emphasis added)
"One scandal that could haunt [Harry] Reid for his remaining time in the Senate (and possibly beyond) was reported on recently in the Washington Free Beacon and Courthouse News. It seems the Reid helped the green energy company, Ormat Technologies, a firm that owns and manages geothermal plants in California and Hawaii, secure nearly $136 million in economic stimulus funding from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”
“Two former employees are suing the firm, claiming Ormat executives defrauded the United States of more than $130 million by reporting false information about two projects to get government grants, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.”
“Reid’s ties to Ormat are deep. The company runs geothermal plants in Nevada and Reid has been a big booster of the company in D.C. As reported in the Free Beacon, ‘Reid bragged about securing Ormat a $350 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy (DOE) and took credit for expanding the Treasury program that the former employees say illicitly provided Ormat with millions more in taxpayer funds’.”
“It is also worth noting that Ormat’s DOE award came a year after investors sued the company for allegedly inflating its stock price through ‘fraudulent accounting and overstated financial results.’ Ormat settled the allegations in 2012 for $3.1 million.”
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