Stillwater News Press

Opinion

March 18, 2014

OUR VIEW: Earthquake study is needed in OK

Oklahoma seems to be on shaky ground these days. Several minor earthquakes have rattled windows, knocked pictures off walls and startled people in the last several months.

Speculation continues as to why the state is experiencing an increase in seismic activity. Most popular among the speculation is hydraulic fracturing and injection drilling by oil and natural gas producers.

It seems logical that disturbing sediments deep under the surface would cause a shift in the earth — earthquakes. But some have speculated the increase in quakes is due to changing lake levels and pre-existing faults that have become more active.

Geophysicist William Ellsworth, the lead author of a 2013 study on the quakes, found that high water pressure used in wastewater injections could disturb existing faults. Ellsworth wrote the earthquakes are “almost certainly manmade.”

Many are calling for a ban on fracking and injection drilling, or at least a temporary halt.

Gov. Mary Fallin is taking a reasoned, sensible approach to discover why the state is having more earthquakes. The governor wants to tap the experience of experts from the Oklahoma Geological Survey and energy producers in the state. Knee-jerk reactions based on speculation do not get us any closer to a real answer and solution to the increased incidence of earthquakes. Fallin wants to collect data from people who intimately understand the issue before making an executive decision.

That’s a prudent approach that will lead to a better understanding of what is causing the quakes and what to do about.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Stocks
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Must Read