Your Fracking Right! Has Money Influenced Pro-Fracking Legislation?

fracking rightsOklahoma Republican Jeff Hickman has introduced a bill that would prevent cities and towns from deciding whether to allow fracking in their jurisdiction.

The measure is particularly concerning to people in cities and towns– population centers where increased seismic activity caused by fracking could have a devastating impact on property owners, especially where the property owner does not have a separate endorsement on their insurance policy that specifically covers earthquake damage.

House Bill 2178 would make it illegal for cities and towns to pass local measures that would prohibit oil and gas drilling in their communities. The bill also repeals state law that authorizes local ordinances and regulations related to drilling and well spacing. The Tulsa World’s Randy Krehibel has the story here.  You can read the full version of House Bill 2178 here.

People should also be aware that Hickman is no stranger to the oil and gas industry. Records filed with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission show that seven days leading up to October 20, 2014, Hickman accepted campaign contributions from three oil and gas donors totaling $5,000.00. See report here. For the sixteen days from November 4, 2014 to November, 20, 2014, contributions from donors with oil and gas ties increased to $12,000.00. See report here.

During a thirty-eight day period from October 14 to November 20, 2014, Hickman received $17,000.00 from donors with ties to the oil and gas industry. Given the amount of these donations, and the intrusive nature of the bill on the rights of local towns and cities to manage their own affairs, the question should be asked whether the money Hickman received from the oil and gas industry played any role in his decision to sponsor House Bill 2178.

If you have questions about fracking, or property damage claims, contact the attorneys at Bryan & Terrill, 918-935-2777.