Friday, January 1, 2016

Oklahoma Sets New Earthquake Record

Last year Oklahoma recorded 857 quakes.  That’s more than all the remaining states (excluding Alaska) combined.
The previous year (2014) Oklahoma had a record-setting year logging in 585 quakes, after the 2013 record-setting year with 106 quakes. 

To end the year, a series of 2.9 or greater earthquakes shook the Edmond area, the northeast part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Those quakes have at least one state legislator up in arms. “This has been going on for five years,” says State Rep. Richard Morrissette (D. 92). “At what point are we, the policy makers, going to address this issue and take it seriously? We need to shut these wells down.”

Morrissette claims the state’s Corporation Commission has the authority to act, but is doing nothing. "This is a preventable disaster that our policy makers at 23 and Lincoln and the Corporation Commission refuse to address, because they're afraid politically to act," he told local news reporters.

Or it could be that the energy companies are refusing to comply with the Commission’s directives. On December 2, the state sent out letters to six energy companies ordering them to reduce waste water disposal or shut their wells down all together. One company, Sandridge Energy, has refused to close the six problem wells.

letter to policy holder re: earthquakes
Residents left with cracked foundations and other damage wonder who’s going to pay. Some insurance companies have already said they will not offer coverage for man-made earthquakes, such as those caused by injection or fracking. Others will, but require their clients to buy endorsements to their homeowner’s policies.

You can read more about fracking-related earthquakes here and here.

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