Opinion Columns & Blogs

Get serious about reducing earthquakes

George Choy, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey earthquake center in Colorado, said Kansans shouldn’t panic over a new USGS report showing that southern Kansas has a higher risk for a damaging earthquake than Southern California. “People in California have lived with these hazard maps for a couple of decades,” he said. But the California quakes are caused by the natural movement of geologic plates, which is beyond anyone’s control. Kansas quakes are primarily man-made – triggered by the disposal of wastewater from oil and gas fracking. When are state officials, particularly in Oklahoma, going to get more serious about restricting such disposal wells? Kansas shouldn’t have to be riskier than California. – Phillip Brownlee