Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Interior Secretary Asked to Revoke Oklahoma Oil, Gas Leases

The Center for Biological Diversity today requested that the Bureau of Land Management pull 11 public fossil fuel leases sold last month in Oklahoma and Kansas over concerns that fracking and underground injection of oil wastewater could increase the risk of earthquakes in these areas, threatening the physical safety and homes of tens of thousands of residents. In today’s letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, the conservation group called on the BLM to withdraw the leases, covering more than 2,300 acres of federal oil and gas reserves in Oklahoma and Kansas, that were auctioned off April 20 in Santa Fe, N.M. Despite scientific evidence of skyrocketing injection-induced earthquakes in Oklahoma in recent years, the group points out, the BLM failed even to mention the problem of increased risk of human caused earthquakes in its Environmental Assessment for the lease auction, which violates the National Environmental Policy Act and could put people and property in harm’s way. A new video posted on the Center’s website illustrates the recent spike in oil wastewater-induced earthquakes in Oklahoma on a statewide map. Initially, small circles representing seismic activity pop up sporadically, but then rapidly explode all over central and northern Oklahoma with increasing speed and size. A ticker counting the earthquakes also accelerates with time, tallying a total count of 6,116 earthquakes between May 2005 and April 2016...press release

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