EXCLUSIVE POLL: State Leaders Doing A “Poor” Job Addressing Earthquake Causes

Thursday, January 21st 2016, 11:06 pm
By: News 9

Most Oklahomans think that state leaders are doing a “poor” job responding to Oklahoma's increase in earthquakes, according to an exclusive News 9/News On 6 poll.

When asked to rate how well Governor Fallin and other elected leaders have addressed the potential earthquake causes or repercussions, 41 percent said they were doing a “poor” job.

Nearly 28 percent rated the state's response as "fair," 14 percent said it was "good," and nearly three percent thought the handling has been "excellent." Nearly 15 percent surveyed were not sure.

Oklahoma has experienced an unprecedented increase in seismicity since 2008. The scientific consensus is that disposal wells are contributing to the spike in earthquake activity.

More than half of those surveyed (54 percent) agreed the earthquakes are caused by oil and gas drilling activities, but 20 percent believe they're a naturally occurring phenomenon and a slightly more than a quarter of respondents still aren't sure of the cause.

The state of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission have taken several measures to address the increased seismicity, including:

  • Asking companies to reduce their water volumes in disposal wells close to the epicenter of earthquakes
  • The collaboration of four state agencies, three research universities, two oil and gas industry associations and one environmental organization on the Coordinating Council on Seismic Activity
  • Transferring  $50,000 to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission for staff and technological resources to support the OCC’s response to earthquakes.

However, those actions may not be enough, as indicated by the News 9/News On 6 poll and recent meetings over the state’s response to the earthquakes. 

Earlier this month, Oklahomans packed a town hall meeting in Edmond and a public hearing at the State Capitol to express their concerns.

Complete poll result

About the poll: SoonerPoll conducted the survey by phone January 17-19, 2016. Our poll surveyed 1087 likely voters, registered to vote in Oklahoma. The margin of error is +/- 2.86 percent. The results were weighted by age, sex and political party and stratified to Oklahoma likely voter demographics.