Residents of Texas oil country are facing an unfamiliar threat: earthquakes.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recorded more than 500 earthquakes in the state in 2020, up from just two in 2009. The quakes have been linked to the disposal of wastewater from oil and gas operations into deep disposal wells.
The earthquakes have been felt as far away as Austin, and have caused property damage and disruption in the affected areas. In some cases, the quakes have been strong enough to cause minor damage.
The Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees the oil and gas industry in the state, has taken steps to reduce the number of earthquakes by limiting the amount of wastewater that can be disposed of in certain areas.
However, some experts say more needs to be done to address the problem. They argue that more stringent regulations are needed to ensure that wastewater disposal is done in a safe and responsible manner.
For now, residents of Texas oil country must remain vigilant and prepare for the possibility of more earthquakes in the future.