❝ Facing a six-year barrage of increasingly large earthquakes, Oklahoma regulators are effectively ordering the state’s powerful oil-and-gas industry to substantially cut back the underground disposal of industry wastes that have caused the tremors across the state.
…The state Corporation Commission asked well operators in a Connecticut-size patch of central Oklahoma to reduce by 40 percent the amount of oil and gas wastes they are injecting deep into the earth. The directive covers 411 injection wells in a rough circle that includes Oklahoma City and points northeast…
❝ The directives were phrased as requests, because the Corporation Commission’s legal authority to order cutbacks over such broad areas is unclear. The commission has come close to legal battles over the issue twice this year, and a third challenge would not be a surprise. The commission has pledged to take to court any operator that refuses to carry out the reductions…
The new orders come after three of the largest quakes in the state’s history, 4.7, 4.8 and 5.1-magnitude shocks that rocked a major oil field this year.
❝ In 2010, when the tremors began, Oklahoma recorded three earthquakes at or above a magnitude of 3. Last year, it had 907. So far in 2016, it has had nearly 160.
❝ Although critics contend that earthquakes have caused millions of dollars of damage, Oklahoma’s political leaders have long been reluctant to impose restrictions on an industry that dominates the state’s economy. Until last spring, Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican, maintained that the cause of the tremors was unclear, and the state Legislature refused to consider legislation addressing the issue…
Seismologists have long warned that the rise in the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma could presage a temblor that could cause extensive damage.
Corrupt politics still tend to be described in terms avoiding depicting the crooks and politicians involved as the source of corruption. Somehow, they create a milieu that mysteriously condemns a whole state to environmental disaster, an economic swamp wholly dependent on the profit system of a monoculture. Hogwash.
BTW, here’s another “feel sorry for the bastards who aren’t making millions this week” article from Bloomberg. We’re supposed to feel sorry for politicians who live in one of the posh communities now affected by the quakes. They bought those homes with their share of criminal profits. They condemned the state of Oklahoma to a monocultural economy — part of the swath of oil fiefdoms stretching from Louisiana to New Mexico.
They should be forced to take up pick and shovel and do the grunt work of sealing the wastewater wells. Do a little honest work for a change.