Cori Duke / KJRH

A prominent Oklahoma geologist says, when it comes to earthquakes, the trouble could come from unknown quarters. Specifically, the director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey is worried about what scientists don’t understand about geology.

Hutchinson News

The severity and frequency of earthquakes in Colorado appears to be lessening, reports The Hutchinson News.

In the past three weeks, there has been just one quake of magnitude 2.0 or greater in the Sunflower State. Only one resident in the state felt that earthquake, which was centered underneath Anthony’s Forest Park Cemetery.

Getty Images

Oklahoma now has more earthquakes than any state in the lower 48, including California. And, as CNBC reports, the cause of all this shaking appears to be manmade. But can anything be done?


In early 1952 an Oklahoma City petroleum geologist named William Atkinson raised eyebrows by purchasing earthquake insurance for his home.

His odd decision looked like a bit of psychic brilliance a month later. In April of that year Oklahoma City experienced a powerful earthquake—the most powerful in the state’s history until last week.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images/WSJ

Apache Corp. has high hopes for a new oil field in West Texas, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The energy giant announced last week that the overlooked “Alpine High” region potentially holds the equivalent of at least two billion barrels of oil. “Alpine High,” is an area near the Davis Mountains in far west Texas.


Oklahoma fracking operations are facing a potential backlash in the wake of last week’s 5.6-magnitude earthquake, Bloomberg reports.

Last year, Oklahoma had almost 900 earthquakes of magnitude three or higher. Earlier this year Oklahoma regulators limited the disposal of oilfield wastewater in the state, hoping to prevent seismic activity. But this latest quake may trigger calls for more limits on wastewater wells in the state.

Some Oklahoma drivers have grown concerned about the structural integrity of the state’s bridges after last week’s 5.6 magnitude earthquake.

Stephen Collector / Getty Images

The recent anti-fracking effort in Colorado has failed, reports CNBC.

Fracking opponents in the state had been rallying to get two measures onto the ballot that would further regulate the controversial energy extraction process. On Monday word came that both initiatives failed to make the ballot.

AP photo

Groups fighting the proposed anti-fracking ballot measures in Colorado are spending more than 35 times what supporters of the measure are investing, reports The Colorodoan.

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Two anti-fracking measures could find their way onto Colorado’s November ballot. But that’s not necessarily good news for the state’s Democratic Party, reports Politico.

John Leyba / Denver Post/Getty

Last Monday, anti-fracking proponents in Colorado turned in a petition featuring nearly 200,000 signatures. That means the state is one step closer to having two statewide fracking referendums on the ballot this fall, reports CNBC. The petition reached the requisite signature number over the weekend thanks to a last-minute push by advocates.

The effort is supported by a grassroots coalition called “Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking.”

Rural Blog

It’s no secret wastewater injection wells linked to fracking have led to a staggering rise in earthquakes in Oklahoma and Kansas. But now, notes The Rural Blog, oil and gas companies appear to have discovered a method to reduce man-made seismic activity.

Thompson Reuters

The US Securities and Exchange Commission last week accused Texas-based oil and gas driller Breitling Energy Corp of fraud on a massive scale. The corporation’s chief executive and seven other employees were charged with defrauding investors of around $80 million. The federal agency accused the driller of misleading investors about the value of the company’s oil and gas assets, reports Business Insider. 

Naveena Sadasivam / Texas Tribune

A new book by a member of a think tank in Texas insists that renewable energy creates “false hope,” reports The Texas Tribune. In a talk last week, Kathleen Hartnett White praised fossil fuels and called the advent of fracking “breathtaking.” White directs the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Armstrong Center for Energy and Environment. While she spoke, protesters outside the event did their best to make their displeasure at her message known.

Andrew Cullen / Reuters

Everyone knows that CO2 emissions are wreaking havoc on our atmosphere, leading to climate change. But there’s another gas causing even more trouble, and it gets less attention because it’s colorless and odorless. That gas is methane, and it’s a climate change powerhouse. In fact, methane is more than 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

An Oklahoma environmental group recently filed a lawsuit seeking to force oil companies to reduce the wastewater fueling the earthquakes that have ravaged the state. But now, Oklahoma oil and gas companies are asking a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

As fracking activity in Oklahoma proliferated, the frequency of earthquakes in the state began to skyrocket. And as the quakes increased, so did the tension between federal and state researchers about the causes of the rumbling. So StateImpact Oklahoma decided to take a closer look at that feud. What they found was unsettling, though perhaps unsurprising to many. As earthquake activity spiked, federal scientists with the U.S.

Bloomberg News

Following Texas’s lead, Colorado’s Supreme Court has ruled that local municipalities in the state are not allowed to ban fracking, according to The Wall Street Journal. Cities like Fort Collins and Longmont had previously sought to halt the controversial drilling technique. But now the state’s high court has deemed those local laws “invalid and unenforceable.”

Oklahoma isn’t the only state where the controversial process known as “fracking” has resulted in fights between state and federal officials, and the oil and gas industry.

Water wells were recently found to be polluted in Wyoming, and watchdogs immediately pointed the finger at the state’s hydraulic fracturing operations. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has since released a report saying fracking likely played little role in the polluted water wells.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The staggering frequency of earthquakes in Oklahoma has caused many problems, not all of them having to do with geology. The state has now come up with a way to settle disputes that arise because of regulatory actions issued to reduce quakes, reports StateImpact.

Oklahoma Corporation Commission / Rural Blog

Oklahoma has announced a new plan to slow the staggering rise of earthquakes in the state, reports The Rural Blog. The earthquakes have been linked to fracking and wastewater disposal performed by the oil and gas industry. The new plan will cover more than 5,200 square miles of central Oklahoma.

American Energy Partners Limited

Oklahoma saw a tragic twist to an ignominious story last week. Legendary Oklahoma oil and gas pioneer Aubrey McClendon died following a traffic crash in Oklahoma City. As StateImpact Oklahoma reports, the crash came a day after McClendon was indicted for masterminding a conspiracy to rig the bidding process for oil and gas leases in northwest Oklahoma.

The Sierra Club has filed a federal lawsuit against three Oklahoma energy companies, reports StateImpact Oklahoma. The lawsuit accuses the companies of operating wastewater injection wells that contributed to the massive spike in earthquakes in the state. The three oil companies facing the accusations are Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy and New Dominion.

Jim Bickel / The Oklahoman

Oklahoma had more earthquakes in 2015 than every continental state combined, reports Oklahoma City station KOCO. 49 U.S. states—excluding the massive Alaska—recorded a total of almost 1,600 earthquakes of magnitude 3 or greater last year. Of those, almost 900 were in Oklahoma. The other states had a combined total of 729.

Sue Ogrocki / AP photo

Sandra Ladra, a resident of Prague, Oklahoma, was injured during a 2011 earthquake. Mounting evidence has shown that the earthquakes were caused by the injection of wastewater from fracking. So Sandra decided to sue the oil and gas companies that operate injection wells in her area.

The Wall Street Journal has published a debate about whether oil companies should be held liable for injuries caused by the quakes.

Earthquake Concerns Continue at Cushing, OK, Oil Hub

Nov 9, 2015
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Government and oil-industry officials continue to be concerned about the prospect of earthquakes near the massive Cushing oil hub in Oklahoma, reports StateImpact. A 4.5-magnitude earthquake was recorded near the hub on October 10. After an inspection, no damage was found. But the incident troubled authorities. The U.S.

OK Earthquakes Could Pose Threat to National Security

Oct 28, 2015
Daniel Acker / Bloomberg

The largest commercial oil storage hub in North America is located in Cushing, Oklahoma, reports Bloomberg Business. In the wake of 9/11, concerns were raised about Cushing’s status as a potential target for terrorist attacks. The Safety Alliance of Cushing was formed as a result: an alliance of the FBI, state and local law enforcement and emergency officials.

StateImpact courtesy of KQED Radio / Flickr Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency is pushing for oil and gas officials in Oklahoma to do more to prevent industry-linked earthquakes in the state, reports StateImpact Oklahoma. The federal agency has asked industry regulators to reduce injection volumes, among other changes.

One Oil Company Fights New OK Earthquake Regulations

Oct 16, 2015
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

After Oklahoma issued regulatory actions to try to curb a rash of oil-industry-related earthquakes in the state, one oil and gas operator is challenging the ruling, reports StateImpact Oklahoma. The Marjo Operating Co. Inc.’s filing is the first effort on the part of the oil and gas industry to prevent regulation.

roy.luck / Flickr Creative Commons

In light of recent earthquakes, officials near the oil hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, are considering a worst-case scenario plan. According to the Journal Record, 11 magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes have been recorded near the Cushing oil hub since April. If one tank were damaged in a quake, oil companies could easily respond. But if all of the storage tanks were damaged by large earthquakes, first responders would be overwhelmed.