Oklahoma residents pack House chamber with earthquake insurance concerns

Residents say oil and gas companies should subsidize the cost of earthquake insurance premiums due to fracking-related quakes

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

About 200 concerned residents flocked to Oklahoma Capitol last Jan. 15 to participate in a forum discussing the issues surrounding the recent string of fracking-related tremors that shook the region. The citizens argue that the oil and gas companies behind the fracking operations should shoulder the cost of earthquake insurance premiums.

Rep. Richard Morrissette (D-Oklahoma City), who organized the forum, shared that he will push for legislation in the next session that would create a reparation fund that would help those residents affected by the fracking-related quakes.  The fund would be based on a new, fluid disposal fee. Morrissette also wants to levy compulsory reductions in injection amounts in the ten counties in Oklahoma where fracking operations are being done.

To keep underground drinking water sources safe, the oil and gas companies fracking in Oklahoma inject about a billion barrels worth of toxic wastewater (a byproduct of fracking) deep into the ground every year—it is believed that this process is causing the increase in earthquake activity in the state.

According to reports by earthquaketrack.com, Oklahoma has experienced more than 2,201 tremors over the past year. The quakes typically hit a magnitude of 4.8, causing costly property damage.

Just last December, a 4.3 magnitude tremor rocked the Oklahoma City area.

Experts believe that an even larger earthquake could be in the works should fracking continue in the region.

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