Legislation was signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott after the city of Denton voted to restrict fracking. Denton officials say oil companies should not wield more power than citizens.
Editor's Note: Sharon Wilson, an organizer interviewed in this story, began advocating for fracking reform in Denton in 2009 as an unpaid citizen leader. In 2011, she was hired as a full-time organizer by the environmental group Earthworks to continue her anti-fracking work in Denton.
Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 2:24 pm
The Oklahoma Geological Survey said Tuesday it is “very likely” that most of the state’s recent earthquakes were triggered by the subsurface injection of wastewater from oil and natural gas drilling operations.
Geologists have been studying the cause of hundreds of earthquakes that have shaken the homes and the nerves of residents in central and north-central Oklahoma, where the pace of oil and gas drilling has accelerated in recent years.
Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 8:18 pm
The Department of the Interior has unveiled new regulations on hydraulic fracturing operations that take place on federal lands, requiring companies using the drilling technique to ensure wells are safe and to disclose chemicals used in the process.
The rules change follows a more than three-year review process and will affect the 90 percent of oil and gas wells on federal lands that now use so-called fracking to extract oil and gas.
As legislation written to prevent counties and municipalities from banning hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas activities advances through the Oklahoma House and Senate, some city leaders and their advocates say the measures go too far and could have unintended consequences.
‘MESS IN TEXAS’
Oklahoma lawmakers have filed at least eight bills that would prohibit municipal or county bans — or effective bans — on oil and gas drilling, production and related activities like hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The legislation differs in the details, but the motivation is the same.
“A fracking ban is a drilling ban,” House Speaker Jeff Hickman said on the House floor during the March 16 session.
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.