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Group pushing Oklahoma legislators to stop fracking for one year

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OKLAHOMA CITY  - The cause of earthquakes is a hot topic in Oklahoma.

While many groups say there is no link between oil and gas injection wells and earthquakes, others say the evidence is too much to ignore.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma over the past four years has increased more than 300 percent.

Some say that increase is because of oil and gas disposal wells.

Oil and gas wells create wastewater, which is then pumped into the Earth.

Some suggest that water then builds pressure along fault lines and causes earthquakes.

One such group is "Global Frackdown," which has already collected over 1,000 signatures to demand that Oklahoma legislators do something about the disposal wells.

On Friday, the group headed to the Oklahoma State Capitol to deliver the signatures to Gov. Mary Fallin.

They are demanding that she order all deep well injection operations to stop for one year.

They say if that happens, they believe the state will see a dramatic drop in the number of earthquakes.

"Global Frackdown" says the wastewater injection wells also have a negative impact on residents' health.

"You can have neurological problems. You can have skin rashes, which I've seen in Payne County. I've seen people with immune issues, literally with the disposal well across the street, bring them to the brink of not being able to walk outside to garden," said Angela Spotts.

The group was met by opposition at the Capitol.

The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Organization attended the meeting, saying there is not a link between the two.

"Disposal wells have been used in Oklahoma for more than half a century and have met, and even exceeded current disposal volumes during that time," OIPA said in a news release.

They also say the earthquakes are likely a coincidence.

"Because crude oil and natural gas is produced in 70 of Oklahoma's 77 counties, any seismic activity within the state is likely to occur near oil and natural gas activity," the group said.

Organizers also claim there has been an increase in seismic activity in other states where there is no oil or natural gas development.

The OIPA says a rush to judgment without further research will not help anyone understand the causes.