A rowdy crowd of concerned residents shouted at city officials and questioned representatives of an oil company at a Thursday night meeting about a proposal to drill near Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City.
As StateImpact’s Joe Wertz reports, many attendees were troubled by the idea of oil drilling near a major city water supply.
The Pedestal Oil Company wants to use horizontal drilling and, possibly, fracking, to tap oil and gas deposits that could be trapped more than a mile below the lake, which supplies drinking water to about 100,000 people.
Driven by water worries, safety questions and quality of life concerns, residents in Oklahoma and states other the country have pushed for citywide bans on hydraulic fracturing.
Many of those efforts have proved successful, but, in the end, fracking bans might be more about lawyers than voters.
Using local referendums, residents in states like California, Colorado, New York and Ohio have successfully banned fracking. The anti-fracking fervor has even spread to Texas, the country’s No. 1 crude oil producer. On Election Day, voters in Denton approved a citywide ban on fracking.
Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 10:15 am
Residents of Denton, Texas, voted Tuesday to ban hydraulic fracturing in their city. It's the first time a city in the state — where energy is king — has voted to ban fracking. State officials have already filed lawsuits to try and overturn the ban.
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An interim study examines the correlation between wastewater disposal wells and earthquakes in Oklahoma.
The hearing brought together geologists from the Oklahoma Geological Survey, the Corporation Commission, and Oklahoma State University to lay the groundwork for future legislation through the sharing of information.
The quakes have also strained state agencies, which are struggling to keep up with the ongoing swarm while simultaneously developing a longer-term plan to analyze and address factors that might be triggering the earthquakes.
Oklahoma’s earthquake surge and possible links to oil and gas activity have been studied in scientific papers, discussed at heated town-hall meetings and explored regulatory hearings.
The quakes are now triggering some rumblings at the state Capitol.
About 4,000 earthquakes have shaken Oklahoma this year, data from the Oklahoma Geological Survey show. Most of the quakes have been small — roughly 10 percent were 3.0-magnitude or greater, the threshold at which seismologists say the temblors are likely perceivable.
At an interim hearing at the state capitol Tuesday, a state representative from north-central Oklahoma questioned whether the state was properly inspecting oil and gas wells and had the rules necessary to prevent contamination of water supplies.
Republican Representative Steve Vaughan of Ponca City conducted the interim study and held the hearing. Vaughan is concerned about saltwater pollution in Kay and Noble Counties, which has had large-scale fish-kills for three years in a row.