Governor Mead Questions Link Between Oil And Gas, Earthquakes

Jan 12, 2015

In an interview with Wyoming PBS Thursday night, Governor Matt Mead questioned scientific studies that have shown a link between oil and gas activities and earthquakes.

In recent years, scientists from Ohio to Oklahoma have linked increases in earthquakes to oil and gas activities. This month, scientists from the University of Miami documented a direct connection between hydraulic fracturing in Ohio and earthquakes. Other studies in Oklahoma have linked earthquake activity to injection wells used to store contaminated water from the drilling process. But when asked whether Wyomingites should be concerned about earthquakes caused by oil and gas development, Governor Mead said he wasn’t sure about the scientific basis science.

“I think when I hear those things, I want to know, how was that study done and was it done correctly?” he asked.

Wyoming’s State Geologist published a study last year that showed no connection between injection wells and earthquakes in the state. Mead said despite his skepticism, the state would continue to study the issue.