In the last week two new earthquakes hit the Cushing, Oklahoma area. Cushing, a small town of about 6,000 residents, is home to one of the largest tank farms in the country. This huge tank farm, which stores more than 50 million barrels of oil, is crucial to American industry because it supplies the entire Gulf of Mexico petro-chemical industry. Not only would our national oil and gas industry be adversely impacted by the disruption of the Cushing hub, but our national security is also at risk.
More than 585 earthquakes occurred in Oklahoma in 2014. These earthquakes, which are increasing in intensity, now threaten our largest oil hub. The direct cause is the practice of the disposal of millions of barrels of contaminated water through induction wells. This water is a bi-product of fracking.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is mandated by law to regulate the oil and gas industries. But unfortunately the OCC lacks the expertise and experience in handling this unprecedented situation. DHS seems disinterested and the EPA, while showing some sympathy to this man-made disaster, has been of little help. The OCC has done its best to try to provide solutions to this human-made disaster, but with limited funds, limited resources, and limited expertise, the Cushing oil hub remains extremely vulnerable.