Speaking at the recent Edmond Neighborhood Summit, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak suggested implementing earthquake building codes for future construction could be beneficial.
Doak said Californians learned to strengthen chimneys at a relatively low cost. Chimney clamps could reinforce a structure to make it more resistant to damage and be kept under the deductible range.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman Matt Skinner made national headlines last fall for saying our state was the No. 1 earthquake area in the world while speaking an Enid Rotary Club meeting.
Addressing the same group this week, Oklahoma Geological Survey Director Jeremy Boak said Oklahoma may have had the most earthquakes in 2015, but our state didn’t claim the most energy released.
We may have the most earthquakes in raw numbers, but we’re in the minor league when it comes to intensity, which is what matters most.
Also, Oklahomans have been doing things to lessen our number of earthquakes.
Alaska and California are stuck with them for good. Always have been and always will be.
Plus, virtually all of Oklahoma’s quakes are in a relatively small segment of the state compared to large geographic regions in Alaska.
Although Oklahoma quakes generally are less severe than those out west, it would be logical to assume that some higher level of earthquake activity will be with us in Oklahoma for some time to come.
A pragmatic approach would be to do some cost-benefit analysis of enhanced building codes and bridge construction requirements.
Oklahomans still are learning how to best react to the recent outburst in earthquake activity.
After all, Oklahoma regulators only recently started remedial work by lowering wastewater injection well volume significantly and haven’t had time to assess its full success.
As we’ve said before, our policy decisions should be based on facts, not fear.