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Terrible Tremors

Earthquakes are on the rise, and it’s likely because of us.

Earthquakes are shaking the country from Maine to southern California. This interactive map from the Center for Investigative Reporting shows the uptick in tremblors from the beginning of the century to now.

One place where they’re rockin’ more then ever is Oklahoma, which had 562 earthquakes last year with a magnitude of 3.0 and greater. That’s three times as many as quake-prone California, which had 180. The reason for the increase is the amount of oil and gas drilling in the state—more specifically, the injection of wastewater back underground. Oklahoma's Supreme Court will soon decide on whether energy companies can be held responsible for damages caused by earthquakes (a prospect that's surely making the industry tremble).

onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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