Oil, Gas Industry Ensnarled in Spate of Oklahoma Earthquakes - NBC4 Washington
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Oil, Gas Industry Ensnarled in Spate of Oklahoma Earthquakes



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    Cushing City Manager Steve Spears said 40 to 50 buildings were damaged in Sunday's earthquake, which was the third in Oklahoma this year with a magnitude of 5.0 or greater.

    Earthquakes are rippling through Oklahoma more quickly than ever, and strong too: forty-six since the beginning of the month, as powerful as magnitude 5.0, NBC News reported.

    Scientists say that wastewater from fracking is very likely triggering the tremors at unprecedented rates, but the rise in the oil-tapping process has been a boon for the state's economy — roughly one quarter of jobs are tied to the energy industry.

    Now stakeholders in the industry are in the midst of a reckoning over how to keep the ground from shaking, while many policymakers are careful to not implicate the energy industry directly.

    "The oil and gas industry basically owns the state," said Oklahoma state Rep. Cory Williams (D-Stillwater). "Policymakers don't want to do anything that appears to harm the jobs created by the oil and gas sector."