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Federal Govt Asked to Revoke Oklahoma Oil, Gas Leases

Posted by feww on May 9, 2016

Sent by a reader in PSC

You would have thought the first requirement for serving as a senior government official is minimal common sense! Or was it integrity!

Seismicity in the “Popcorn State” is 600 times greater than it was prior to 2008

Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) has asked the U.S. Interior Secretary to revoke Oklahoma Oil, Gas Leases.

CBD Press Release: Interior Secretary Asked to Revoke Oklahoma Oil, Gas Leases  

The Center for Biological Diversity today requested that the Bureau of Land Management pull 11 public fossil fuel leases sold last month in Oklahoma and Kansas over concerns that fracking and underground injection of oil wastewater could increase the risk of earthquakes in these areas, threatening the physical safety and homes of tens of thousands of residents.

In today’s letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, the conservation group called on the BLM to withdraw the leases, covering more than 2,300 acres of federal oil and gas reserves in Oklahoma and Kansas, that were auctioned off April 20 in Santa Fe, N.M. Despite scientific evidence of skyrocketing injection-induced earthquakes in Oklahoma in recent years, the group points out, the BLM failed even to mention the problem of increased risk of human caused earthquakes in its Environmental Assessment for the lease auction, which violates the National Environmental Policy Act and could put people and property in harm’s way.

A new video posted on the Center’s website illustrates the recent spike in oil wastewater-induced earthquakes in Oklahoma on a statewide map. Initially, small circles representing seismic activity pop up sporadically, but then rapidly explode all over central and northern Oklahoma with increasing speed and size. A ticker counting the earthquakes also accelerates with time, tallying a total count of 6,116 earthquakes between May 2005 and April 2016.  

“It’s clear that these man-made practices are increasing the amount of earthquake activity near and around drilling sites,” said Wendy Park of the Center. “Let’s not wait for an event that damages property or risks lives before acting to protect Oklahoma and Kansas residents. These dangerous seismic risks to communities are yet another reason for keeping dirty federal fossil fuels in the ground.”

Scientists say injections of oil wastewater can lubricate faults, triggering damaging earthquakes. A recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey evaluated the risk of damage from both natural and induced earthquakes in Oklahoma and other states, and the results show a startling rise in seismic activity since the region’s fracking boom began. The agency’s assessment suggests that there is a 5 percent to 10 percent chance of damaging shaking from mainly induced earthquakes in a swath of Oklahoma and Kansas.  Read  more…


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