A New Legal Frontier in the Fight Against Fracking
by Steve Ralls
Last week, a new poll showed that – for the first time – a majority of Americans now oppose fracking. And no wonder: There is clear and conclusive evidence that fracking can lead to earthquakes. Because of fracking, Oklahoma now experiences more seismic activity than California (and pretty much every other state, too). The more people learn about fracking and its effects, the more concerned they become.
That’s why, last fall, we filed suit against three energy companies engaged in fracking in Oklahoma. And that’s also why today we added a fourth company to our lawsuit aimed at stopping the damage irresponsible fracking is wreaking on our heartland.
This morning, we added SandRidge to our lawsuit. SandRidge has continued fracking in Oklahoma despite the overwhelming evidence showing the destruction their operations are unleashing across the state. They are now one of four companies we’re fighting in court in order to stop the seismic activity that is damaging property, and rattling nerves, all over Oklahoma.
As Newsweek reported just this morning, it is “the first U.S. lawsuit ever filed to prevent earthquakes.”
“Damages lawsuits look backward. This is unusual in that what we are trying to do is stop future events like a really big earthquake,” our attorney, Richard Webster, told the magazine this morning.
Newsweek isn’t the first media outlet to note how innovative our lawsuit is: Last week, Forbes magazine reported that one legal analyst referred to it as “The Star Trek of lawsuits” for “boldly” going where no lawsuit has gone before.
It’s just one example of the cutting-edge legal strategies our attorneys implement every day. And, in this case, winning in court could well mean saving lives. As our client, Johnson Bridgewater of the Oklahoma Sierra Club, told Newsweek, “It’s unbelievable . . . that we’re 18,000 earthquakes into this mess and no one has died yet.”
We’re fighting now in the hopes that it does not come to that.
Take action: More than 11,000 people have called on energy companies to curb fracking in Oklahoma. Add your name by signing our Change.org petition, online here.