Oklahoma Follows Texas to Prohibit Hydraulic Fracturing Bans

On Friday, May 30, 2015, Oklahoma became the second state to officially ban local bans on hydraulic fracturing. The bill prohibits bans on hydraulic fracturing, as well as other oil and gas drilling operations. The three-person Oklahoma Corporation Commission will now continue to act as the main regulator of oil and gas operations in the state.

Governor Mary Fallin said:

Corporate Commissioners are elected by the people of Oklahoma to regulate the oil and gas industry. They are best equipped to make decisions about drilling and its effect on seismic activity, the environment and other sensitive issues.

The bill was written in response to proposals to increase oil and gas drilling regulations in major cities and as an increasing number of Oklahomans become disgruntled with the mounting number of earthquakes. Sponsored by leaders in the Oklahoma House and Senate, the bill passed the House by a vote of 64-32 and the Senate by 33-13. Amendments to the original bill will still allow cities and municipalities to place “reasonable” restrictions on oil and gas operations, such as setbacks, noise, traffic and fencing regulations.

The bill comes at a time of great controversy within Oklahoma as the Oklahoma Geological Survey recently said increases in earthquakes were “very unlikely to represent a naturally occurring process.” In February, the U.S. Geological Survey published a paper written by Oklahoma Seismologic Austin Holland stating that the increase in seismic activity in Oklahoma was from human-induced activities.

Kim Hatfield, chairman of the regulatory committee at the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association (OIPA) responded:

This is something the Oklahoma Geological Survey, Oklahoma Corporation Commissions and OIPA have been working on for well over a year. We knew this was a possibility.

Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas producers have a proven history of developing the state’s oil and natural gas resources in a safe and effective manner.


Comments (4)

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    • Evalynde Hollande says:

      Oklahoma and Texas have banned prohibitions on hydraulic fracturing, while New York and, I guess soon, Maryland are banning fracking itself.

      • Brian Williams. says:

        Ah, yes, THANK YOU for pointing that out. Two very different type of fracking bans.

  1. Richard says:

    I see that the EPA has come out with the results of a study of Fracking and ground water contamination. They conclude that there is no “Wide Spread” contamination. What does that mean? Does “Wide Spread” mean that if you do not live near the fracking sites you will not have contamination? Some areas of the country are looking at what water shortage and water waste has done to their water supply. Not pretty. Can’t get along with out it.

    Those of you that live in city areas and have filtered water probably don’t care. Those of us in the rural areas use wells for drinking, cooking, bathing, watering livestock,and watering crops.

    As there is no problem of contamination then there should be no problem to require the frackers to have insurance that would allow them the do the following if contamination should occur:

    1 – Test the water prior to starting.
    2 – Test the water every month after starting.
    3 – If there is any contamination and as there is no way for them to clean the ground water they will:
    A – Stop fracking at this site.
    B – Build a water treatment plant to clean the water.
    C – Install a distribution system to supply clean water to those that are affected, at no charge.
    D – If they contaminate an existing water system that uses ground water, they will supply all required filtering.

    It shouldn’t cost that much as there is only “Wide Spread” contamination. We would all have clean water. If there is a problem, the cost to correct it will be the responsibility of those that created it, not the users that had nothing to do with making the problem.

    They should also be required to clean the waste fluids that they pump back into the ground. A while back they wanted to haul it from Texas and pump it up here in Ohio. They were going to give the Ohio DNR $400,000 for the permit. As I understand it, you can’t even get a MSDS sheet for this stuff as it is secret. Scary.

    How sure are you?