Monday, March 16, 2015

OU Earthquake Scandal: Are There Efforts To Silence The Researchers?

Geologist, Austin Holland - Oklahoma Geological Services' Earthquake Specialist

 There is a growing body of evidence pointing to a possible cover up of a link between new petroleum production techniques, and the massive upswing of earthquakes in the naturally placid Oklahoma plains. 

  Energywire has published a bombshell report linking the Oklahoma Geological service at the University of Oklahoma, to an alleged effort of powerful industry figures. And a moneytrail seems to consistent with the suggestion. The focus surrounds the research and publications of the OGS researcher, Austin Holland, and the meetings which OU president, David Boren, has called him to, along with Harold Hamm of Continental Resources.

Workers inspect damage to one of the spires
at St. Gregory's University in Shawnee.
   Boren has reportedly been paid over a quarter million dollars as a member of the board of Continental Resources. There appears to be a conflict of interest which could taint the integrity of OU research and the potential fallout could cause the university to lose research grants in several areas. Harold Hamm has directed tens of millions of dollars in gifts to the university.

  Meanwhile, widespread effects of the quakes have been felt all around Oklahoma, and damages are progressively evident. In response, the OGS has been looking into lakewater levels as somehow being the cause.

  Here's just a clip of the Energywire article...

The right thing

  In a media outing earlier this year, Holland acknowledged to reporters from the Tulsa World, The New York Times and The Washington Post that the industry has tried to influence his work.
"I can't really talk about it," 
 Holland told the reporters. 
"We're going to do the right thing."
"You don't understand --
Harold Hamm and others will not
allow me to say certain things."
  But Bob Jackman says Holland did talk about it last year and indicated that it was Hamm who was leaning on him.
  Jackman is a Tulsa petroleum geologist who has made himself a thorn in the side of Oklahoma's establishment on issues such as earthquakes. In an opinion journal article last year, Jackman described approaching Holland about earthquakes after a conference in September.
  Jackman said he pressed him about earthquakes until Holland blurted out, 
"You don't understand -- Harold Hamm and others will not allow me to say certain things."
  Holland told EnergyWire that Jackman had misquoted a private conversation, but declined to clarify it. Jackman said he wrote down Holland's words immediately, and stands by his recollection.
  OGS's position on the cause of the earthquakes has drawn derision, even from within the agency.
  In April 2013, another OGS scientist, petroleum geologist Richard Andrews, said in a note to a family member on his agency email account that OGS shouldn't be telling the public that the earthquakes are naturally occurring.
 "Myself and a few other geologists that know of the Hunton dewatering oil operations in the affected areas and subsequent re-injection into the Arbuckle [are] the culprit," wrote Andrews, who is now the interim director of OGS. "I am dismayed at our seismic people about this issue and believe they couldn't track a bunny through fresh snow!"
Read the full article,here.

  A Tulsa World expose' has also recently followed up on these new pieces of evidence. Some details of these reports question the link of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and especially Patrice Douglas. That article can been read, here.
David Van Risseghem

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