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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Quakeahoma--shaken and stirred--a lament

Location of today's big one, three smaller ones, and blue dot disposal wells.

Earthquake Central...It rolled the house about 5 am two days ago...a rumble coming through the trees and then a crack and more, waking the entire area, doing damage. A 4.3 earthquake. Thirty minutes later there was another one, over 3. Since then there have been about eight more throughout the day. The epicenter was about three miles from here. There have been more since, including news of a "re-activated" fault in the area.
Oklahoma is the most seismically active state in the country, other than Alaska. The year is setting records for 4+ quakes and more.
Severe damage near epicenter
Everybody knows why, but nothing is being done, because our government officials are owned the the perps--energy companies.
The once key to the oil boom was "fracking," pumping water deep into the earth to free oil. But then the water had to be disposed of, so they began injecting the water into wastewater wells back into the earth. Oklahoma has many small faults, and this water pressure has obviously spurred these quakes.
Of course the government officials and oil companies deny it, but scientists here and around the country know it is the case, having plenty of research to back it up, as do most people in the state. 
But, pardon the pun, our leaders and owners have had their heads in the sand.
Perhaps now, something will be done, as the puppet governor and corporation commission seek ways to postpone any significant action. They may no longer be able to. Nothing illustrates what I called the two Oklahomas years ago. There's the relative prosperous urban, and the slowly declining rural.
As long as the quakes were hurting poor people in relatively unpopulated, low-vote areas, the big dollar, big city boys and girls could ignore them. Now however, we'd made national news, and quakes are affecting the voting centers. Articles in the mainstream media are now reporting this.
Oklahoma's wastewater injection wells
We are a three industry state--energy,  military bases and ag. And one industry is in deep trouble. Gasoline prices tumble with the price of oil, energy companies are laying hundreds of employees off. In spite of declining revenue, our government "leaders" cut taxes this year, and now the state budget disaster will harm thousands in the next year. They euphemistically call it a "Revenue Failure."
We need a different kind of quake--it'll probably take deaths. Ironically, what could also change things is if a big quake damages the oil hub at Cushing, shutting off oil across the country. That will bring down the state economy even more. 
Government leaders and chamber of commerce PR types  brag about "The Oklahoma Standard," but the reality is a looming disaster caused by not facing facts and acting on them, because of political pressure and corporate ownership.
In the meantime, there will be more and more quakes, more and more damage to houses and businesses, more and more government "studies" and "committees" and postponements, more and more industry denials.
How long until this shaken state's population gets stirred enough to do something about it?

(Thanks to information and help from The Journal Record, photo from NewsOK)

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