Legislator Calls for Moratorium on Oil/Gas Disposal Wells

In 'Areas of Interest' Where 'Quakes Are Occurring

OKLAHOMA CITY - State Rep. Cory Williams, D-Stillwater, called Tuesday for a moratorium on oil and gas wastewater disposal wells in the 16 counties the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has identified as "areas of interest" because of earthquake activity.

State Seismologist Austin Holland of the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) announced Monday that saltwater disposal wells quite likely triggered most of the earthquakes that have occurred in central and northern Oklahoma over the past two and a half years.

"Based on observed seismicity rates and geographical trends following major oil and gas plays with large amounts of produced water, the rates and trends in seismicity are very unlikely to represent a naturally occurring process," the OGS wrote in a statement issued Tuesday.

[http://wichita.ogs.ou.edu/documents/OGS_Statement-Earthquakes-4-21-15.pdf ]

The Corporation Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry, Gov. Mary Fallin and major oil producers in Oklahoma "have consistently said they would re-evaluate this issue if scientific evidence demonstrated that there was a connection between disposal wells and earthquakes," Williams said. "Well, the science on induced seismicity is in. It's time to take swift action to protect the lives and property of this state's citizens."

Approximately 4,500 Class II wastewater disposal wells have been drilled in this state, and about 3,200 of them "are injecting at any given time," Corporation Commission spokesman Matt Skinner said Tuesday.

Initially the commission zeroed in on saltwater disposal wells in eight counties where earthquakes have occurred at a high frequency: Alfalfa, Garfield, Noble, Payne, Lincoln, Oklahoma, and especially Grant and Logan counties.

Since that time the commission has extended its focus to eight other counties, too: Woodward, Pawnee, Seminole, Garvin, Stephens, Love, Carter and Marshall. [http://www.occeweb.com/News/2015/03-25-15%20Media%20Advisory%20-%20TL%20and%20related%20documents.pdf]

The number of disposal wells in those 16 counties totals "more than 1,000," Skinner said.

The seismicity rate in Oklahoma in 2013 was 70 times greater "than the background seismicity rate observed in Oklahoma prior to 2008," the OGS wrote in its report. "While unlikely, this rate could have been potentially explained by natural variations in earthquake rates from naturally occurring swarms."

Now, though, the seismicity rate is "about 600 times greater than the background seismicity rate and is very unlikely the result of a natural process," the OGS reported.

Historically the Oklahoma Geological Survey recorded on average about 1

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Motor vehicle accident 4th and Choctaw

Chickasha EMS and police department are working a two vehicle accident in front of city hall on fourth street.

One lane of traffic is blocked at this time but should be open shortly.

It appears to be a non-injury collision with no victims being transported.

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Saturday is 4-H Day at Chickasha Tractor

Research has proven that participation in 4-H has a significant positive impact on young people.

Recent findings from the Tufts University 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development indicate that, when compared to their peers, young people in 4-H are:

- Nearly four times more likely to contribute to their communities

- Two times more likely to pursue healthy behaviors

- Two times more likely to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs in the out-of-school time.

These are just some of the reasons Tractor Supply supports the 4-H Youth Development Program.

Wednesday, April 22nd through Sunday, May 4th is the "Paper Clover" Campaign. Purchase a paper clover at Tractor Supply for $1 and 60% goes to Grady County 4-H.

This Saturday, April 25th, Grady County 4-H members will be showcasing their 4-H project work including the Oklahoma 4-H Shooting Sports Trailer, where visitors can shoot air rifles, youth can also make their own "Dirt Babies" and "My Plate".

All the activities are free!

4-H members will also be cooking serving hot dog, chips and drinks from 10am to 2pm. The proceeds will help with fund 4-H trips, scholarships and other awards.

So join Grady County 4-H this Saturday for 4-H Day at Tractor Supply is located at 330 East Grand Avenue in Chickasha, next door to Interurban.

For more information about Grady County 4-H contact the Grady OSU Cooperative Extension Service in at (405) 224-2216. We are located at 828 West Choctaw in Chickasha.

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This story has been revised 2 times
  • By Liz Taylor on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 9:34:59 a.m. (VIEW)
  • By Liz Taylor on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 9:35:55 a.m. (VIEW)

Chickasha Police Department Activity

04.20.2015

1000 Block Grand Terrace there was a burglary report taken.

2200 Block West Iowa Avenue Devan Young was stopped for a speeding violation. Upon further investigation it was discovered that he had outstanding city warrants and was place under arrest on warrant numbers 309438 and 309438F

A Malicious injury/destruction of property was taken in the 400 Block of West Oregon Avenue

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ATV Accident claims life of 14 year old

Emergency response units were dispatched to 4/10 of a mile North of CR 1470 and 2/10 of a mile East of CS 2670 in Caddo County around 7:15 p.m. last evening.

This was the scene of an ATV accident in which a 14 year old boy whose address is listed as Cyril, Oklahoma apparently lost control of the ATV he was operating after striking a cow.

The victim was transported by Anadarko Emergency Medical Services to Physician's Emergency Department. Head Trauma is thought to be the cause of death.

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This story has been revised 1 time
  • By Editor on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 9:39:51 a.m. (VIEW)

Highway 19 closed 5 miles East of 81

Highway 19 East of Chickasha was closed while a single vehicle accident was investigated around 2335 last evening.

A Hummer driven by Antonia Fraire address out of Amarillo, Texas was Eastbound on State Highway 19 when he went left of center striking the guard rail causing his vehicle to spin around coming to a rest partially blocking both lanes of Highway 19.

The Hummer was disabled and had to be removed from the scene utilizing Chickasha Towing a local wrecker service.

Mr. Fraire was booked into the Grady County Jail for driving with license suspended/canceled/revoked.

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This story has been revised 2 times
  • By Editor on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 1:40:26 a.m. (VIEW)
  • By Editor on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 1:44:55 a.m. (VIEW)

Grady County Court Records

Chickashanow has gotten the bugs worked out of our Court Records page.

We are posting all Grady County Court filings on a daily basis at this time.

Today there were 10 pages of filings: lawsuits, judgements, traffic citations, marriage license applications and divorce filings as well as others.

Go to chickashanow.com under the local tab click on court and bing, bam, boom they will appear.

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Open Door Policy - April 20, 2015 - The Oklahoma State Budget, Part 1

Open Door Policy - April 20, 2015 - The Oklahoma State Budget, Part 1

I have watched with great interest the budget discussions occurring inside the State Capitol. Not surprisingly, the number of press releases significantly decreased this year since it is not an election year and the news has rarely been good.

The state's annual budget for appropriations has recently been around $7 billion, but that is decreasing. In January, it was announced the state would face a $611 million budget shortfall and this is expected to grow larger. This is partly a result of the reduced production from the energy sector, layoffs and the decrease of income tax collections, and reduced sales taxes collections since Oklahomans must make necessary cuts to their lifestyles.

Recent tax cuts implemented will also factor into collections.

The legislature capped energy production taxes at a 2 percent rate last year. The percentage was to ratchet up to 7 percent this upcoming budget year. This passed when prices per barrel were high, so no claim can be made it was done to spur our economy. This economy will also be the argument against delaying or increasing this rate, and it could not be done even if a majority of legislators wanted with the constitutional protections against raising taxes.

Article V, Section 33 of our state constitution requires either a majority vote of the people or three-fourths of legislators voting to pass a tax increase. That simply will not happen. No tax hike has been passed since that language became law as State Question 640 in 1992.

An income tax cut trigger was met to implement a permanent reduction of a quarter percent. This translates into roughly $125 less for the annual state budget. Economists suggest this amount infused back into the economy usually generates spending and allows for other tax collections, so the actual cut is estimated to be 50 percent of that amount in a best case scenario. This means a cut of $125 million will in reality be roughly $60 million reduced from each future budget.

In contrast, multiple fee increases have passed, providing limited dollars to targeted programs which often cover shortfalls in state agencies. These are essentially targeted tax increases, but by legal definition, fees increases are interpreted as being different than a tax to allow them to occur.

I also find it ironic, and sometimes hypocritical, that many legislators wholeheartedly endorse tax cuts, but support fee increases and tax credits. Tax credits either give taxpayer dollars from the budget to businesses or reduce their tax burden. In other words, funding state programs which benefit people are bad, but subsidizing pet projects with taxpayer dollars is fine. Some credits do legitimately provide incentives for increasing jobs, but many are simply a form of corporate welfare.

The Oklahoma budget will soon be made public. With the shortfall, we will see cuts to almost every agency and program. It is unlikely new monies will be spent on any programs. I suspect there will be no pay raises for state employees and educators, no cost of living increase for retirees, and no additional repairs for roads or prisons.

In the next column, we will review other budget policy impacts, including matching federal funds, bonding and agency revolving funds. Until we see responsible reforms to the state budget process, we will not see the improvements in Oklahoma we desire.

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Roadway blocked

Chickasha Police Department is on scene of what appears to be a non-injury motor vehicle accident at the entrance to Liberty Bank on South 4th Street.

Both vehicles were Southbound on 4th when they attempted to occupy the same lane.

The roadway is blocked and probably will be for the next 45 minutes or so.

Please avoid the area by using an alternate route if possible.

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