Rep. Cory Williams was sitting at his home late Wednesday night when he felt the rumble. It was the 4.8 magnitude quake that hit Fairview in the northern part of the state, miles from the Williams home in Stillwater. It only angered him further in his battle with the state and the oil and gas industry to take significant steps against the wastewater injection wells and stop the surge in quakes. He has waged the fight for at least two years in legislature doesn’t see any progress on the part of the state leaders.
“We still don’t have a handle on it,” said the Democrat legislator in an interview with OK Energy Today. “Our state policy for induced seismicity is 100 percent reactive. We don’t have a plan. We don’t have a pro-active approach..we have reaction.”
“Shut down the wells—do something else with the produced water. There are actually other avenues to get rid of the produced water,” added Williams. “We have an abysmal state policy for handling this issue. Our governor can move quicker to defund Planned Parenthood than she can to prevent the loss of property and life in the state of Oklahoma that is an actual threat.”
He’s been criticized by the oil and gas industry associations who say his plan would “cripple the industry.” Williams says the state’s already being crippled by the earthquake.
“Who’s gonna pay for all the damage to the roads and the bridges and people’s houses?”
While some have blamed Republican leaders, Williams didn’t mention them as members of the GOP.
“It’s not a political issue. It’s a quality of life issue. People shouldn’t be woke up in the middle of the night trying to decide whether they need to grab their kids and get outside…wondering if this is going to be the big one?”
He has been fighting the state for the past two years, attempting to get a firmer policy in place.
“It should have been a major issue two years ago. This isn’t new. You’re just seeing larger and larger earthquakes which is what we were saying two years ago. It’s not a political issue. It’s only a political issue because political leaders are failing to do anything about it.”
Listen to Jerry Bohnen’s interview of Rep. Cory Williams.