StateImpact Oklahoma
6:53 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

State Senator Calls for Federal Task Force On Oklahoma Earthquakes

State Sen. Jerry Ellis on Monday suggested that a federal task force be formed to develop a statewide earthquake “emergency action plan.”

The task force would be charged with examining and evaluating scientific studies related to Oklahoma’s earthquake swarm, which a growing chorus of scientistssay is likely linked to disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry, and make recommendations on possible solutions, according to a press release from the House Democratic Caucus. 

Ellis, D-Valiant, was joined by Tulsa geologist Bob Jackman in recommending the federal task force, which they said could be comprised of representatives from the U.S. Geological Survey and Oklahoma Geological Survey, university researchers and geophysicists from the oil and gas industry.

From the press release:

“An emergency exists in central Oklahoma, with its accelerated and unprecedented increase in frequency and magnitude of apparently man-made earthquakes,” Jackman asserted. 

“We need to act, not react,” Ellis said. “We’d better not wait ‘til a high Richter-scale earthquake occurs, causing disastrous damages to homes, roads, bridges, schools and hospitals – as well as oil and gas well surface and subsurface casing and pumps.”

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