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Sierra Club v. Chesapeake Operating, LLC

Citation: 47 ELR 20054
No. CIV-16-134-F, (W.D. Okla., 04/04/2017) (Friot, J.)

A district court abstained from rendering a decision in a case concerning earthquakes allegedly caused by fracking operations in Oklahoma, choosing to instead defer to the expertise of a state commission. An environmental group brought suit against the energy company claiming that its fracking operations (mainly the injection phase) contributed and continued to contribute to the rise of seismic activity in Oklahoma. The energy company moved to have the case dismissed, requesting that the court abstain since the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) had taken action in response to the increased seismicity caused by fracking and other drilling operations. The court agreed, saying that it did not want to interfere with the OCC’s efforts to develop coherent policy. The case was dismissed.