I've been following Occupy Youngstown, Ohio, because I'm interested in their forceclosure defense and in their town, one of the poorest in the country. But Occupy Youngstown has also been active in the movement to stop fracking, the method for extracting natural gas is suspected in groundwater contamination and -- eek! -- earthquakes.On New Year's Eve, Occupy Youngstown tweeted that they'd just felt an earthquake in a deli after their general assembly.And they had -- a quake registering 4.0 had struck their town, one of several big shakes in recent months. The next day, Governor John Kasich called an immediate halt to the disposal of the waste from fracking, much of it from next door in Pennsylvania. They've been pumping that stew into wells more than 9,000 feet deep around Youngstown. From the Columbus Dispatch:
Officials from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources think that waste pumped into the Youngstown-area well, referred to as Northstar No. 1, has been seeping into a previously unknown fault line in eastern Ohio, causing the seismic activity.
Kasich officials told the press they don't think fracking itself is to blame. Fracking is big business -- one of the bright spots in Youngstown is a French mill coming in to make parts for the process.Occupy Youngstown celebrated the temporary moratorium, and then warned their ranks about a number of wells outside the 5-mile radius. "We need to occupy," they posted. "Our country needs us to occupy."