Oklahoma, the new earthquake capital?

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Move over California and Alaska, the U.S. has a new earthquake capital. Oklahoma suffered more than 900 earthquakes last year, with 585 that were a three on the scale or above on the Richter Scale in 2014. The amount of earthquakes increases with each year.

“It’s cool knowing Oklahoma broke a new record, but it’s not the best since it was set by something that can be so destructive,” senior Emily Pendergraft said.

Researchers have agreed that the earthquakes are most likely caused by the state’s oil and gas industry, specifically the injection of waste water underground, a byproduct of oil extraction. This process, known as “fracking” has environmentalists concerned.

“I believe the earthquakes could be a result of the oil and natural gas industries,” senior Nancy Granados said.

The possibility that Oklahoma will have another large number of earthquakes this year is great. The earthquakes, though sporadic and sometimes weak, do still cause damage. The shaking may lead to foundation problems in homes, which makes a lot of Oklahomans nervous.

“If it has consequences including earthquakes or damage in our soils, the rules should be regulated to where it doesn’t damage anything else,” junior Aira DeGuzman said.

Currently, the rate earthquakes are hitting are approximately 600 times past averages. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is in charge of the overseeing the state’s oil and natural gas industries and operation underground wells. They have rules that are in place for monitoring the wells, and responding the earthquake activity that occurs.






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