Fracking debate lies ahead

State News

December 19, 2018 - 10:12 AM

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers are likely to face renewed debate in the next legislative session about how or whether to hold oil and gas companies accountable for property damage caused by earthquakes in Kansas.

Earthquakes have increased in Kansas since 2013 when fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, became more common for oil and gas exploration, although the intensity has been reduced in recent years. Some researchers believe injection of wastewater from the explorations into underground wells contributes to the quakes — a claim that industry officials dispute, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported .

Joe Spease, chairman of the Legislative, Energy, and Hydraulic Fracturing committees for Kansas Sierra Club, said the Legislature should impose a fee on companies using injection wells to dump wastewater. He suggested the rate could be based on volume of material injected with the money distributed to property owners with damage.

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