Personal Geology

“She thought that perhaps it was at times like this that they must all fend for themselves.”

BY KATE STRUM | THE NEW TERRITORY ISSUE 01
Art by Bryan Haynes.

“Personal Geology by Kate Strum.” Art by Bryan Haynes.

By April the earthquakes had become a real problem in Oklahoma. In the small city of Oluska, the first earthquake meeting was in June. LuAnne switched shifts with Colleen to be able to attend. Her own curiosity about the meetings surprised her, as did the presence of other locals at the event. LuAnne recognized some people from Mimi’s Kitchen, where she waited tables, some from around town, and others she figured, with their leathered skin and trucker caps screen printed or embroidered with agricultural product logos, must be landowners—ranchers raising cattle for beef. The rest of the people were probably affiliated with Baskwell, the local liberal arts college, or affiliated with someone affiliated.

The meeting was about science. Professors from Baskwell used a slideshow presentation to explain hydraulic fracturing, calling it fracking for short. They explained the process of mining by which liquid, water and chemicals are injected into a well at high pressure, causing tiny fractures in the rock, thus allowing oil and gas to be extracted from miles below the surface. They said that this process, and even more likely the wells into which the wastewater from the process was injected, could be causing the earthquakes.

From the restlessness in the room LuAnne sensed that most people there already had a handle on these basics, though they were new to her. The woman on LuAnne’s left turned to her.

“We know what they’re doing, for God-sakes,” she hissed in a loud whisper. “We’re here so they can tell us what to do to make those bastards stop.”


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ISSUE 01 MADE POSSIBLE BY OUR SPONSORS

Native Health News Alliance Missouri Wildflowers Nursery

The Red Earth MFA at Oklahoma City University

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