BY JAMES NIMMO
Thanks to Gov. Mary Fallin, and her oil patch boyfriends, Oklahoma has hit a new numerical high: a second 5.6 earthquake, this time near Pawnee. At least 11 aftershocks in less than 24-hours were recorded, according to the United States Geological Survey, caused by the high-pressure infusion of drilling wastewater produced by petroleum fracking operations and pumped into geologically sensitive rock layers.
The first 5.6 was near Prague in 2011; both quakes causing considerable damage to property and the mental health and security of people everywhere.
Lincoln is attributed with a quote regarding fooling people some of the time but not all the time. He couldn’t have predicted the extent to which Fallin would be able to confound the wisdom of someone as earthy and experienced in the ways of politics as the Rail-Splitter.
Acting as realtor-in-chief for the petro fraternity, Fallin has negotiated the sale of Oklahoma’s natural resources at fire sale prices and made Oklahoma a sacrifice earthquake zone for the much vaunted energy independence scheme foisted on us by our elected administrations of both major parties and corporate avarice. As home-owned solar panels are taxed, the fossil fuel cabal gets its extraction tax reduced from 7% to 2%.
The money made from pollution of the state’s environment continues unabated despite scientific studies and experiences in other states where the same drilling and disposal techniques used in Oklahoma were shut down or severely curtailed many years ago.
The lubricious, lubricating lust for vast wealth binds and blinds its recipients to the equally vast harm dumped on Oklahoma’s citizens. The Friends of Mary cannot escape their responsibility for the destruction.
Instead of escaping drought as the 1930’s Joads did in John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, Okies of the 2020s will be escaping water undrinkable, poisoned by a witch’s brew of fracking chemicals, and air unbreathable, made a weaponized gas by vented fumes of methane.
– James Nimmo lives in Oklahoma City and is an occasional contributor to The Oklahoma Observer