A 4.5 magnitude earthquake that struck northern Oklahoma Nov. 1, 2016 may finally move OK lawmakers into considering restrictions on some oil and gas drillers shaking the state. The endless quakes have led some residents to file Oklahoma earthquake lawsuits for property damage.
Oklahoma’s alarming increase in earthquakes since runaway fracking began in 2008 has some state lawmakers interested in the connection between fracking operations for “natural” gas and subsequent earthquake damage. Most oil and gas specialists not funded by Big Oil now believe that the injection of underground wastewater deep into the earth is the most likely culprit. Conventional oil drilling in Oklahoma for more than 100 years never resulted in the huge uptick in earthquakes that perfectly paralleled the introduction of new oil and gas fracking methods.
North Oklahoma Earthquake 4.5
Fortunately, no damage was reported from this week’s 4.5 magnitude earthquake. In September 2016, an Oklahoma record-setting 5.6 earthquake spurred some residents into calling for change.
The Associated Press reported this week that Oklahoma Corporation Commission plans a response to the Nov. 1 earthquake. Some state regulators are considering new restrictions on oil and gas activity.
Pawnee Nation sues Frackers
The long-suffering Pawnee Nation, however, rattled by the latest quakes, is not waiting any longer for sensible treatment. In late October 2016, according to The The Stillwater Press, the Pawnees announced plans to sue four energy companies: New Dominion, Sandridge Exploration and Production, Chesapeake Operating, Devon Energy Production Company.
|Andrew Knife Chief told the Stillwater News Press that much of the problem stems from local government’s lack of power:|
“The City of Pawnee can’t pass any kind of city resolution banning underground injection control wells within a certain distance of the city or whatnot,” Knife Chief said. He hopes, however, that the Pawnee Nation’s sovereign authority could help in a lawsuit.
“That same restriction doesn’t apply to us,” he said. “(On) Oct. 22 of 2015, the Pawnee Nation business council passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on fracking activities.”
While Oklahoma’s governor and most experts not on Big Oil’s payroll recognize a link between fracking and the huge increase of Oklahoma’s earthquakes, oil money continues to deny a connection between fracking and earthquakes.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission sees Frack Link
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission, meanwhile, has conceded: “Researchers largely agree that wastewater injection into the Arbuckle formation poses the largest potential risk for earthquakes in Oklahoma,” according to the group’s September Earthquake Response Summary.