A series of earthquakes has rattled parts of Oklahoma just days after a magnitude 5.0 earthquake hit a key oil hub in the north of the state.
The U.S. Geological Survey says a 3.3 magnitude quake was recorded at 2:54 a.m. Friday near Geary in west-central Oklahoma, followed by a 3.0 magnitude quake at 5:12 a.m. near Medford in the north. At 9:50 a.m., a magnitude 3.0 earthquake struck close to Luther in central Oklahoma. [ABCNEWS]
“We don’t need a major earthquake that claims lives and costs millions in damage to tell us the rapid increase in fracking and wastewater injection in Oklahoma and neighboring states is the cause,” said Taylor McKinnon with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The USGS has already linked seismic activity to wastewater disposal associated with fracking and has raised the risk for damaging quakes in Oklahoma and Kansas. We renew our call on Interior Secretary Jewell to cancel public leases recently auctioned in the region before more serious harm occurs.”
“It’s only a matter of time until these increasing quakes cause catastrophic damage,” McKinnon said. “Alongside the worsening climate crisis, earthquakes are yet another reason that President Obama should end the federal fossil fuel leasing programs now.”
Despite overwhelming scientific evidence that these dangerous wastewater-injection practices cause destructive quakes, the BLM, which reviews and auctions public lands for fracking, failed to consider these effects in its evaluation of its latest lease auction in April 2016. A new environmental review released last month for the agency’s next lease auction in April 2017 also fails to consider these effects. [ECOWATCH]