Oklahoma is poised to overturn an 80-year-old statute that allows cities and towns to ban drilling operations within their borders. The legislation will protect oil and gas interests in the state from local movements set against their activities. Environmentalists and other concerned citizens say that rapid expansion of oil and gas drilling, especially in the central part of the state, has resulted in a spike in earthquake activity. Oklahoma now sees 600 times more tremors than it did before 2008. Energy companies say local controls threaten both their profits and American energy independence, as well as Oklahoma’s economy. If the bill passes in Oklahoma’s Republican-controlled Legislature, it will essentially mirror a bill recently signed into law in Texas, meant to stymie local dissent about fracking.
Read more details from Reuters here.