Did fracking cause Los Angeles' earthquake this week? City councilmen investigate

Three Los Angeles City Council members want city, state and federal groups to look into whether hydraulic fracturing and other forms of oil and gas “well stimulation” played any role in the earthquake that rattled the city early Monday morning.

The motion, presented Tuesday by Councilmen Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin and seconded by Councilman Bernard Parks, asks for city departments to team up with the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, the U.S. Geological Survey and the South Coast Air Quality Management District to report back on the likelihood that such activities contributed to the 4.4-magnitude quake.

Earlier this year, the council voted to draft rules that would bar hydraulic fracturing, often referred to as “fracking,” acidizing and other kinds of well stimulation in Los Angeles until council members felt sure that Angelenos and the water they drink were safe from their effects. The risk of triggering earthquakes was among the dangers cited by Bonin and Koretz, who championed the move.