OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and State Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague met with members of the coordinating council on seismic activity to talk about earthquake activity in the state.
Tuesday’s meeting was to brief the governor on increased seismic activity, the cause, and what can be done.
“I think we have made tremendous progress. Talking about 11 months of this group meeting together,” Fallin said.
Scientists say there has been a steady increase in the number of small earthquakes in our state. There were close to 600 earthquakes magnitude 3 or greater last year — three times more than California — and this year, it’s on track for more than 800.
In the meeting, the governor acknowledged there is a direct correlation between increased seismic activity and disposal wells.
Scientists say it’s not hydraulic fracking that’s causing the earthquakes. They say it’s wastewater disposal.
Fracking creates millions of gallons of wastewater that get injected into deep underground wells. In some cases, the fluids can seep into faults and unleash quakes.
“We are trying to look at real scientific data. As much that has been proven as possible and there is always new info that will come to light, and that’s what this council is about,” she said.
Governor Fallin says the council is making an impact.
“It shows we understand people are concerned about the increased number. We are paying attention. We are doing something about it by bringing experts together and looking at what we can do as far as the data goes,” she said.
The governor says they have already taken several steps to address the disposal well problem. Back in March, 347 wells were ordered to reduce injection outputs. In July, 211 wells were ordered to do the same.
Mary Fallin says it could be at least a year before we see any measurable differences.
“It could be a year before we see any measurable differences. I think it’s important for people to know the earthquakes are not going to stop in two weeks,” Fallin said.