Lone Star Chapter Issues Statement on Seismic Activity Related to Oil and Gas Extraction

Austin – Saying it was “time to act,” Cyrus Reed, Conservation Director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club told the House Energy Resources Subcommittee on Seismic Activity today that induced seismic activity resulting from oil and gas activity is real and the public needs protection.

“We can’t keep pretending that we do not understand what is causing earthquakes in North Texas,” Reed told the special committee. “These statewide elected officials have been sitting on this issue for years, and it is time for our political leaders to act to prevent future induced seismic activity from oil and gas waste injection,.”

In his testimony, Reed pointed out that since November of 2013, Oklahoma has had more earthquakes than any other continental state, including California, and the majority of these quakes have been linked to underground injection of oil and gas wastes. Other known activity that has been linked to waste injection includes Ohio, Arkansas, Colorado and Texas. In Texas alone dozens of incidences of seismic activity has occurred over the last year, particularly in North Texas.

Reed called on the Legislature to put specific requirements in Texas statute to require a seismic analysis of any major injection well, require pre-monitoring and post-monitoring seismicity of injection wells, and create specific permit conditions that would allow for both mitigation and stopping injection if seismic activity occurred.

Reed added, “Other states like Arkansas and Ohio have already acted to protect the public. Let’s let Oklahoma be No. 1 in earthquakes. Texas should be No. 1 in protecting the public.”


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