Environment Fracking

Oklahoma Legislature Not Fans of Democracy, Big Fans of Man-Made Earthquakes

The state of Oklahoma has seen a sharp increase in the number of minor earthquakes that can be attributed to fracking so, naturally, the state legislature has advanced a pair of bills that would effectively prohibit cities from deciding for themselves if they want to have man-made earthquakes.

While at least eight bills were filed this session in Oklahoma to prevent cities and counties from banning drilling operations, the two that passed through the House this week are SB 809 and SB 468. SB 809 would allow “reasonable” ordinances related to “road use, traffic, noise and odor,” but would not allow any outright bans — the bill prohibits the direct regulation of oil and gas exploration, drilling, or fracking.

The second bill is audacious, to say the least.

SB 468 would make it so that any interference with oil and gas production would be considered a “taking” of property, meaning royalty owners could seek compensation.

If a city decides that it does not want to have man-made earthquakes and takes steps to end gas production in the area, they could be sued for compensation.

Central government power is excellent as long as conservatives are the ones who control it.