Power Struggle: The Oil and Gas Boom and an Outbreak of Earthquakes in Oklahoma
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma
Lawrence Stasyszen, abbot of St. Gregory's Abbey, stands inside the monastery's condemned workshop in Shawnee, Okla. The monastery and nearby college are still reeling from millions in damage from a 5.7-magnitude quake that struck in 2011.
In 2014, Oklahoma had more than three times as many earthquakes as California, and this year, the state is on track for even more. A lot of them are small, but some towns are seeing a quake almost every day, and seismologists warn that large and damaging earthquakes are becoming more likely.
The government in the Sooner State has only recently acknowledged the scope of the oil and gas industry’s role in the problem.
Reveal’s Michael Corey and Joe Wertz of StateImpact Oklahoma hop in a car and drive toward the epicenter of two earthquakes that had just struck near the town of Guthrie, Oklahoma, to see the after-effects for themselves and talk to the people who live in the area. Are residents troubled by or numb to the earthquakes?
In this story, the reporters travel throughout the state speaking to experts, helping us gain a better picture of Oklahoma’s man-made earthquakes.
This segment is featured on the June episode of “Reveal,” a new investigative public radio program and podcast produced by The Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit newsroom based in California, and PRX. Subscribe to the podcast and learn more at www.revealnews.org.