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GOP, Democratic Lawmakers Hold Public Meetings On Oklahoma's Earthquake Swarm

Concerned residents address lawmakers during a hearing Friday in the House chamber of the state Capitol.
Joe Wertz
StateImpact Oklahoma
Concerned residents address lawmakers during a hearing Friday in the House chamber of the state Capitol.

Scores of worried residents sounded off to state lawmakers at a pair of public meetings Thursday and Friday about Oklahoma’s earthquake boom.

Republicans and Democrats each held their own earthquake hearing, and both were rowdy.

People spoke out about home damage, insurance problems and potential injuries. They also chastised state officials for failing to rein in oil and gas activities linked to the shaking. At the Edmond meeting organized by Republican state Rep. Lewis Moore, people interrupted and yelled things like, “pack of lies!”

The state Capitol hearing held by Democratic state Rep. Richard Morrissette was just as heated. The crowd was so large, the meeting was halted and moved from a conference room to the House chamber.

Logan County resident Nina Tobin said daily quakes have cracked her home and scared her neighbors.

“I know I have friends that have little-bitty kids,” Tobin said. “They wake up at night crying because it scares them to death when they have an earthquake.”

Both lawmakers promised they’d push for legislation to address the earthquakes.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership among Oklahoma’s public radio stations and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Joe was a founding reporter for StateImpact Oklahoma (2011-2019) covering the intersection of economic policy, energy and environment, and the residents of the state. He previously served as Managing Editor of Urban Tulsa Weekly, as the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Oklahoma Gazette and worked as a Staff Writer for The Oklahoman. Joe was a weekly arts and entertainment correspondent for KGOU from 2007-2010. He grew up in Bartlesville, Okla. and studied journalism at the University of Central Oklahoma.
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