Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Oklahoma Governor Allocates Money from Emergency State Funds to Support Research on Recent Seismic Activity

On January 28, 2016, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin authorized the transfer of $1.387 million from the state’s emergency funds in support of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and Oklahoma Geological Survey’s research on the underlying causes of recent seismic activity in Oklahoma.

More precisely, Governor Mary Fallin allocated $387,000 to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and declared in a press release that those funds “will allow the OCC to proceed with much-needed computer updates and hire two contract geologists and other staff to work on seismic issues. As for the Oklahoma Geological Survey, it will receive $1 million to “install additional seismic monitoring stations in western Oklahoma, update its monitoring network and upgrade its mapping systems.”

In 2015, Oklahoma experienced several earthquakes, and underground wastewater disposal and hydraulic fracturing activities have been suspected of causing such seismic activity. According to the Office of the Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment, “Oklahoma experienced 907 magnitude 3+ earthquakes in 2015 and 585 magnitude 3+ earthquakes in 2014. 109 magnitude 3+ earthquakes were recorded in 2013.”

More information on earthquakes in Oklahoma and the related regulatory activities is available here.

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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