What the Frack! Earthquakes in Oklahoma City?

By Gloria Dulan-Wilson

It's December 7, 2013 – for most veterans, and those who keep up with US History, today is officially Pearl Harbor Day – or the day that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and started the US active involvement in WWII.

But today is also the day that Oklahoma City, my home town, experienced a 4.5 earthquake on the Richter Scale. It's the day that my mother's home was shaken. It's the day that pictures rattled and fell off the wall.  It came in the middle of an ice and snow storm already sufficiently severe enough to cripple the state.  It's the day that I sat here in front of this computer screen and read the news notification: “Earthquake in Oklahoma City, and nearly freaked out in panic.

My 90 year old mother lives in Oklahoma City. She's been there all her life! My brothers and cousins, classmates, friends, neighbors, relatives are in Oklahoma City – as well as Muskogee, Okmulgee, Idabel, Guthrie, Ardmore, Stroud, Burneyville, Jones, Luther and other areas.
I grew up in Oklahoma City, and I can count on one hand – actually one finger – the number of times we've had an earthquake in Oklahoma while I was growing up there – ONE!!! One, and I was five at the time. Until recently, there was no such thing as an earthquake in Oklahoma. That sort of thing happened in California, for the most part. But not in the heartland.
I couldn't wrap my head or mind around such a thing happening there, and I was speaking with one of my best friends, Barbara, who asked me a question that had not crossed my mind – had not even been on the radar of my consciousness: “Are they fracking in Oklahoma? Because, it could be the cause of the quake.” I couldn't answer the question. As much as I speak with my mom and my brother, that subject never came up. We talked about the weather, things from back in the day; who died, who got married, what's happening with the rest of the family.  I hear from my classmates all the time - we've known each other since nursery school days - but no one ever said anything about "fracking." Talk about the Thunder Basketball team and how great they're doing - nothing about "fracking." 

So, I called my brother and teasingly said, “OK, who ordered the earthquake? Don't we have enough problems with hurricanes and ice storms – do we really need to add earthquakes to the list?”
What he said sent a chill down my spine: “Yeah, I told Mom, there goes another earthquake. We've been getting a lot of those lately.”

“Lately???? You mean there are more?” - I asked in dismay. “Yep. We had one around Thanksgiving,” he responded, in his matter of fact, nonchalant way – my baby brother is one cool dude.

“Thanksgiving?!!! I spoke with you guys on Thanksgiving, and nobody mentioned anything about an earthquake. We talked about turkey, sweet potato pie, collard greens. Nothing about – oh yes we had an earthquake. What the sam hill is going on???” I was fairly shrieking at this point. “Are they fracking in Oklahoma?” I asked, hoping that he would say no, and tell me that Oklahoma just found out it was on the San Andreas Fault line or something.

“Yeah. They've been doing it for quite some time. We've been getting more and more earthquakes, and more and more tornadoes. If it keeps up we'll have an earthquake of 12-point something. Maybe then they'll stop.” He started laughing at this apparent joke, until he noticed I wasn't laughing with him.

I said, quietly, “Uh, 8-point 5 is the highest measure of an earthquake on the Richter Scale; after that anything higher and you're pretty much pulverized. So, now is anybody doing anything about this? Are there protests? What's happening in the state government? What about Anastasia Pittman? What's she doing about this?” My brother said, quietly, “I haven't heard anybody really say anything. They've been fracking and horizontal drilling for a while now. There have been a lot of problems, but nobody's doing anything.”

Now, Oklahoma City is in the center of the state of Oklahoma, which is in the center of the United States. It's been called the plains, because it's mostly flat land, and, with the exception of the Arbuckle Mountains, there's pretty much level land throughout. And Oklahomans are pretty simple, home spun folk – not really given to drama, or calling attention to themselves – and that's across the board, whether you're Black, Indian or white. It's not so much that they go along to get along; it's more like they look at it from the standpoint that if there's a problem, eventually somebody will handle it.

It was that way when I was a kid in OKC during segregation. We were sitting in and protesting long before it really became popular because we had Ms. Clara Luper, a teacher and a member of the NAACP, who was not going to allow us kids to be treated as second class citizens. Now, since we had our own good quality schools, our own movie theaters, (the East Side, the Aldrich and the Jewel); owned our own stores and businesses; owned our own homes in nice communities, most of our parents either worked at Tinker Air Force Base or with Kerr McGee (oil), but had their own social life, and were content to never deal with whites ever. We went to the Zoo on Thursday (or was it Tuesday?); you went to the Municipal Auditorium and got to see Black artists (James Brown, the Coasters, etc., and performers on specific days – we even got to pet Trigger, Roy Rogers horse when we were kids.  You went downtown to John A. Browns and bought clothes - as long as you didn't try them on, you were okay. You could actually try on shoes at Buster Browns, and look at your feet through an x-ray machine, but that's because the store was owned by a Black man and his wife. You had Juneteenth picnics, went to Lake Tenkiller to catch Buffalo fish; read the Black Dispatch to keep up with the news about our people; but there were few, to any efforts on the parts of our parents to deal with the separate, but kind of "equal" existence in Oklahoma. It took Clara Luper to bring these issues front and center and begin to fight to open up the businesses, schools and other venues in OKC.

Unfortunately, Ms. Luper, who made her transition at the age of 93 in 2010, is not around to galvanize Oklahomans to save themselves. No doubt, were she alive she would be all over the place, front and center with the legislators, the governor, Mary Fallin, and other  right wing redneck rep-ugly-cons, to stop this insanity. But the rank and file Oklahomans will crack jokes - like my brother did - shake their heads and keep doing what they do.

Or the news headlines will continue to write about fracking and the clusters of earthquakes, while the bull shit scientists try to deny what they know all too well: Fracking is causing earth quakes in Oklahoma, just like it's causing fields to turn brown, people to become ill, and homes to disintegrate. It's obvious that there are some deep pockets affiliated with fracking, and that these deep pockets don't reside in any of the affected areas. It's also obvious that people are being paid off at the highest level, while the common everyday, ordinary American is expendable – collateral damage in their quest for more and more of more and more. And the fact that this is happening in the Heartland – pretty much out from under the every day radar of mainstream news media, means that it will continue to go on, unless this government does something about it, once and for all.

I find it amazingly insipid that the preponderance of information that has been documented on PBS, Link TV, and hundreds of thousands of other publications have been largely ignored by our so called representatives – in Congress as well as locally. To their credit, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and other states have been aggressively going up against these industry pariahs who use scientific crap trap to obfuscate the legal system.

In reading the headlines that have been emerging about this since 2009 in Oklahoma, these miscreants have the audacity to blame the earthquakes on the oilwells. Oklahoma has had oilwells since the turn of the century – we even have several pumping on the grounds of the state capitol; several used to be behind my high school campus. But not once in all those years has there been earthquakes as a result.
It's kind of like the old monster movie theme that we grew up on, where the people's interests and fears were put aside in the interest of science. So you ended up with a Frankenstein monster, or weird things growing out of your body, or kids dying from cancer at the age of three and four; but it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they were trying to “discover” some new “new technique” and using the earth as their laboratory – or people as unwitting human guinea pigs. Oh no! It must be that suddenly some natural phenomenon that has been around for hundreds of years just went haywire. Pay absolutely no attention to the fact that we just dumped chemicals in your water to see what would happen; or that we're going deep into the earth's surface and actually extracting natural gas from the shale by blasting through – oh no – that's not the reason the ground is suddenly destabilized and collapsing from within. "No! We're not causing that. It must be all them Oklahoma oil wells suddenly gone haywire!" appears to be their response to the headlines and the critics.

I decided to look up fracking to see what the industry defines it as. According to Energy from Shale,
"Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth. Fracking makes it possible to produce natural gas extraction in shale plays that were once unreachable with conventional technologies. Recent advancements in drilling technology have led to new man-made hydraulic fractures in shale plays that were once not available for exploration. In fact, three dimensional imaging helps scientists determine the precise locations for drilling.
Horizontal drilling (along with traditional vertical drilling) allows for the injection of highly pressurized fracking fluids into the shale area. This creates new channels within the rock from which natural gas is extracted at higher than traditional rates. This drilling process can take up to a month, while the drilling teams delve more than a mile into the Earth’s surface. After which, the well is cased with cement to ensure groundwater protection, and the shale is hydraulically fractured with water and other fracking fluids.”

Now, what are the merits of having more natural gas – especially if the people who use the natural gas – namely us, We The People – no longer have homes, communities, health, teeth, sanity? Who is this natural gas for? There must be a market for it other than domestically, because we aren't going to be around to use it in the long run. The devastation caused by the practice is much more dire and costly in human coin than the so called benefits of having access to more natural gas. So it's apparent that this is being used for export – to be sold on the market to those other consumers who would buy it from the mother frackers because they don't have their own resources.

Now according to Food and Water Watch, and much closer to the real truth is this: “Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing. It’s a water-intensive process where millions of gallons of fluid — typically water, sand, and chemicals, including ones known to cause cancer — are injected underground at high pressure to fracture the rock surrounding an oil or gas well. This releases extra oil and gas from the rock, so it can flow into the well.

But the process of fracking introduces additional industrial activity into communities beyond the well. Clearing land to build new access roads and new well sites, drilling and encasing the well, fracking the well and generating the waste, trucking in heavy equipment and materials and trucking out the vast amounts of toxic waste — all of these steps contribute to air and water pollution risks and devaluation of land that are turning our communities into sacrifice zones. Fracking threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate on which we all depend. That’s why over 250 communities in the U.S. have passed resolutions to stop fracking, and why Vermont, France and Bulgaria have stopped it.

Why a Ban? Can’t Better Regulations Make Fracking Safer?
Ban Fracking in Your Area
No. Fracking is inherently unsafe and we cannot rely on regulation to protect communities’ water, air and public health. The industry enjoys exemptions from key federal legislation protecting our air and water, thanks to aggressive lobbying and cozy relationships with our *federal decisionmakers (the exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act is often referred to as the Cheney or Halliburton Loophole, because it was negotiated by then-Vice President Dick Cheney with Congress in 2005). Plus, the industry is aggressively clamping down on local and state efforts to regulate fracking by buying influence and even bringing lawsuits to stop them from being implemented. That’s why fracking can’t be made safer through government oversight or regulations. An all out ban on fracking is the only way to protect our communities.” - www.foodandwaterwatch.org.

The sad thing for my home state is that it is mis-led by red necked rep-ugly-cons who march locked step along with the Bush era administration into this destructive evisceration of the state. The so-called Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) comprised of three who are supposed to provide oversight, but are no more than rubber stampers working in cahoots with the frackers, and not for the citizens, have put together “reports” about the “safety and efficiency” of fracking, and Oklahoma's “compliance with the rules. In what was supposed to have been an independent, objective analysis of the impact of fracking on the environment, an organization called the State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations, Inc – a/k/a STRONGER (I know they thought they were really clever when they thought up that little acronym), puts together a 30 page report that throws roses at the mother frackers, while doing no more than regurgitating spoon fed information. Called the Oklahoma Hydraulic Fracturing – State Review, 2011, is a pack of garbage from beginning to end.  Governor Fallin is either in cahoots with them, or, like so many other rep-ugly-cons, little more than an automaton, carrying the water for the rest of the party.

At any rate, in the entire report, which alleges that Oklahoma has been fracking for 60 years, nothing, whatsoever, was mentioned about the fact that the infrastructure of the entire state is being destabilized by fracking, and that these fissures, which are supposed to be filled back in with oil derrick grade steel, is causing earthquake like tremors, as the land begins to collapse in on itself. Interestingly enough, these bozos send out “inspectors” who are supposed to observe the process and ascertain whether or not things are being done correctly. However, I doubt seriously if any of them have ever operated the hydraulic equipment, ever gone down 200 feet to the level where the shale is located, ever first hand observed whether or not the steel and concrete being put in is of the same strength and quality as the shale they've destroyed.

Probably not. Considering that this is a rubber stamp, multi-stake holder group, they have high stakes in continuing fracking, and will definitely not do or say anything that would even allude to the real truth. Fracking is destroying Oklahoma. And with only 12 Democrats in the state senate, and 32 in the House of Representatives - both in the minority -  they've got enough morons in the majority to vote down, stave off, and otherwise block any measure that would mean the end of this heinous process.

These, no doubt, are descendents of the “Joads” – who, precipitated the dust bowl era in Oklahoma, where they had so depleted the soil because of their ignorance in farming – stripped the land of its nutrients and natural habitats because the jerks didn't understand the merits and necessity for crop rotation – and after people began to starve to death, beat it for California because they could not longer live there. {The “Joads,” for those of you who don't remember, were the family John Steinbeck made famous in his novel “The Grapes of Wrath.” A bunch of dumb hicks who, well portrayed in the movie by Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell, were so stupid they didn't see that their own actions times 130,000 others just like them, is what caused our state to go bone dry. Oklahoma had been a state rich with green grass, flowing rivers, and arable land before they came; it was not made to be raped over and over and over again. From the Oklahoma Ruin of 1889, it took them less than 40 years to nearly destroy the entire state. Then they jumped into their rickety buckboards and left to go to “greener pastures” in California. Thank goodness, because, had they stayed, we'd be dunes of red dust by now}.

And now, the descendants of the “Joads” are back in the personage of the Oklahoma government, and just as dumb as their forebearers. Making stupid, self serving, party-driven decisions, and watching the very earth crumble in front of them, while completely ignoring the situation, and writing bogus reports that assert that “everything is doing fine,” and “fracking is not the problem – it's the oil wells.”

News article after news article appears to have aroused no glimmer of common sense in this legislative group; and as I have said before, most Oklahomans will unfortunately wait it out; and then become the poster state for stupidity writ large, when the entire state, or a substantial part of it, collapses in upon itself, after having allowed them to destroy the infrastructure, and the pristine environment so many of us enjoyed coming up.

Radio Stations - Oklahoma

WATR-AM 1320 Waterbury, CT Oldies USA
FSN Feature Story News World News News,News Updates USA
High Plains Public Radio Classical,Public USA
Thug Zone Live Hip Hop USA
IRSO-FL Roots of Soul R&B USA
Western Intertie Network (WIN System) Talk USA
Mountaineer Radio Adult Contemporary,Classic Rock,Pop USA
Classic Radio JAR101 Adult Contemporary,Soft Rock,Pop,Top 40 USA
WQQB-FM 96.1 Rantoul, IL Top 40 USA
WXJ86-SW 162.550 (NOAA Weather) La Crosse, WI News Updates,Short Wave Radio USA
KTAR-FM 92.3 Phoenix, AZ News Talk,Talk,Discussion USA
GCN Secret Truth (George Butler) Talk USA
KFMJ-FM 99.9 Ketchikan, AK Oldies,Classic Rock USA
WXL61-SW 162.475 (NOAA Weather) Cedar Rapids, IA News Updates,Short Wave Radio USA
WDQX-FM 102.3 (Max FM) Morton, IL Classic Rock USA
BoomerRadio: Sweet Soul Music Oldies,Pop USA
WOLX-FM 94.9 Baraboo, WI Oldies USA
WICR-FM 88.7 (Univ of Indianapolis) Indianapolis, IN College USA
WVHF-AM 1140 (Holy Family Radio) Kentwood, MI Religious USA
KFMB-FM 100.7 (Jack FM) San Diego, CA Adult Contemporary,Classic Rock,Top 40 USA
Jelli The Edge Rock,Soft Rock,World,Indie,Indie Rock USA
WPYO-FM 95.3 (Power 95.3) Orlando, FL Hip Hop USA
KRLD-AM 1080 (NewsRadio 1080) Dallas, TX News Talk,News,Talk USA
KDIX-IR 1230 (Herb 1 Radio) Dickinson, ND Jazz,Talk,Reggae USA
Mistletoe @ iradiophilly.com Christian USA
ORS - Christmas Music For Kids Christian,Kids USA
WBOG-AM 1460 (Kool Gold) Tomah, WI Oldies USA
KELS-LP 104.7 FM (Pirate Radio) Greeley, CO Oldies,60s USA
Smooth Beats, Hip Hop Hip Hop USA
KAHM-FM 102.1 (Beautiful Music) Prescott, AZ Easy,Pop USA
KFFM-FM 107.3 Yakima, WA Top 40 USA
WPDH-FM 101.5 (Home Of Rock N Roll) Poughkeepsie, NY Classic Rock USA
WYUU-FM 92.5 (La Nueva 92.5) Tampa, FL Latin Hits USA
WCVU-FM Seaview 104.9 Oldies USA
WEEC-HD2 100.7 (Southern Gospel) Springfield, OH Gospel,Christian USA
WNWC-FM 102.5 (Life 102.5) Madison, WI Christian Contemporary,Gospel,Christian USA
KLFE-AM 1590 (Freedom 1590) Seattle, WA Talk USA
K-Lite Online Soft Rock USA
WFCJ-FM 93.7 (Inspiration) Dayton, OH Religious USA
Scanner: Denver Police Talk USA
WRSU-FM 88.7 (Rutgers Univ) New Brunswick, NJ College USA
SomaFM: Tag's Trip Electronica USA
WEKZ-FM 93.7 (Big Oldies) Monroe, WI Oldies USA
WZAB-AM 880 (The Biz) Sweetwater, FL Talk,Discussion USA
KBGL-FM 106.9 (Hits 106.9) Larned, KS Contemporary USA
KIH35-SW 162.550 (NOAA Weather) Pittsburgh, PA News Updates,Short Wave Radio USA
Scanner: Montgomery County (MD) Fire 7-Bravo Public USA
RadioIO Bubba ONE Talk USA
Guerilla Media Network Talk USA
WQHS-AM 730 (Univ of Pennsylvania) Philadelphia, PA Alternative,Public USA
Kansas City Black Liberation Radio (KCBLR) Talk,Discussion USA


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 The federal government, over ridden with Bush era remnants, Cruz tea baggers, and other rep-ugly-cons, will definitely not put a stop to this because their pockets, like those in Oklahoma, are benefiting from it.

The only people who are going to save Oklahoma from fracking are Oklahomans themselves – regardless of their party affiliation; regardless of whether they're Indian, Black, white, or whatever. If they love their state, and want to continue to sing “You're doing fine, Oklahoma; Oklahoma, OK!” -- then they'd better do more than sit around and watch the corn grow and lazy hawks circling the sky. In fact, if fracking continues, there will be no arable (fertile) land to grow the corn in, and the hawks will die from the pollution released into the air. Lake Tenkiller will dry up, and there will be no more succulent buffalo fish. The houses will continue to crumble as the substructure is compromised; and our mothers and grand mothers will no longer be able to live out their days in peace. And, just like the dust bowl era of the twenties, people will leave the state in droves for a better place to live.

Oklahoma it's time to wake the frack up and stop this now!!!! If your representatives won't represent you, represent yourselves. Fight for yourselves. Take this over their heads to the White House – because it's clear you have no one on your side in Congress. These are the same people who also say you don't need Affordable Health Care, while collecting a salary from your tax dollars, and allowing your state, your homes, your very lives to be destroyed.

This issue, of course, is by no means isolated to Oklahoma, it's directed to all the states – the pseudo scientists who are alleging that fracking does no harm, should be arrested for perpetrating a big lie; for depraved indifference to the human condition; for environmental homicide. And those who operate the big machines should be sentenced to living down there around the shales that they violated, so that they can see first hand what it's like to bore holes in the earth at depths beyond which they can adequately replace the natural, God given and designed substructure.

The earthquake on Saturday, December 7, 2013 in Oklahoma City was 4.5 on the Richter Scale. In California it would have brought a few large buildings down, or at the very least compromised the foundation. If, as my brother jokingly said, it gets to higher, there will be no State Capitol, no oil wells, no streets, or anything else left. However, as well we know, there are some people who love watching train wrecks; others who love pulling wings off butterflies; and still others who love watching human torment while standing back at a safe distance. They will continue to make their money, get in their jets, fly off ot their private homes, safe and sound out of the US, and give a pittance to charitable causes that are formed to help the victims they caused.

Wake the Frack Up – people!!!
Stay Blessed &
Gloria Dulan-Wilson


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