When New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a statewide ban on fracking in 2014, Oklahoma Rep. Casey Murdock took notice. After voters in the city of Denton, Texas — just 40 miles south of the Oklahoma state line — approved a fracking ban in the Nov. 4 election, the Republican representative from Felt took action.
The daily occurrence of small earthquakes linked to oil and gas drilling in Oklahoma increases the likelihood of larger earthquakes, new research suggests.
“The chances are still small, but we know that from earthquakes the real potential for trouble is in those very unlikely large-magnitude earthquakes,” says geophysicist William Ellsworth of the U.S. Geological Survey, who, along with state and university scientists, presented findings to the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the group’s annual conference in San Jose, Calif.
“We’re still in a very preliminary process of this right now. These layoffs are just beginning to hit and we’re still trying to get an idea of the scope of what we’re dealing with here,” Oklahoma Employment Security Commission Carpenter tells reporter Dale Denwalt.
Oklahoma’s surge in earthquakes and possible links to oil and gas activity has led regulators to scrutinize permits for disposal well operators in quake-prone regions of the state.
Jennifer Lin Cooper filed a lawsuit against two energy companies seeking class-action status for residents of nine counties ‘whose homes have allegedly been damaged by frequent earthquakes,’ the Tulsa World reports.
One incentive in the crosshairs is a five-year exemption on local property taxes installed in 1985, which is reimbursed by the state to schools, counties and CareerTech centers, The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports:
The state paid $64 million in reimbursements in 2013, with half of the exemptions claimed by wind farms. Total reimbursements rose 39 percent from $46 million in 2012, according to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. Continue Reading
Oklahoma experienced more than three times as many earthquakes as California last year, an uptick many geophysicists say is likely linked to wastewater disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry.
The Center for Public Integrity’s Reveal team has produced a compelling animation of the shaking, which covers a timeline from 2000-2014. Continue Reading
Reporters Ziva Branstetter and Curtis Killman reviewed hundreds of documents and examined data on Oklahoma’s earthquake swarm for a multi-part story published Sunday in the Tulsa World.
The “Quake Debate”series, presented online in two parts — part one here; part two here — provides a good overview of the earthquake uptick, which many scientists say has likely been caused, at least in part, by wastewater disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry, as well as the response by industry and state officials. Continue Reading
The wind energy boom has largely evaded Oklahoma’s Panhandle, but new turbine projects and a proposal for a $2 billion transmission line could transform the prairie into a national wind energy hub.
But the projects are being planned amid uncertainty at the state Capitol, where tax credits for the wind industry are in the crosshairs.
The Corporation Commission ordered SandRidge Energy to shut down a disposal well after earthquakes in Alfalfa County near the Kansas border, the Tulsa World reports.