Harold Hamm, the CEO of fracking company Continental Resources, reportedly pressured an Oklahoma seismologist into ignoring evidence that links fracking and irregular seismic activities, reported EcoWatch.
In November 2013, seismologist Austin Holland was called to meet with Hamm and University of Oklahoma president David Boren. Boren is on the board of Continental Resources. Holland was requested because he had been studying the increase of seismic activity in the state of Oklahoma, a state not known for earthquakes.
Holland’s research focused on the possible connection between fracking and earthquakes in Oklahoma.
According to Bloomberg, “Hamm requested that Holland be careful when publicly discussing the possible connection between oil and gas operations and . . . earthquakes.”
“It was just a little bit intimidating,” said Holland.
Since the fracking boom first began five years ago, seismic activity has increased in Oklahoma, and the state has surpassed California as the country’s most seismically-active state. Just last year, there were 538 earthquakes in Oklahoma that were 3.0 magnitude or higher.
Holland informed his superiors at the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) about the meeting and said “The basic jist [sic] of the meeting is that Continental does not feel induced seismicity is an issue and they are nervous about any dialogue about the subject.” The OGS recently released emails that confirmed the meeting and its content.
These industrial CEOs, like Hamm and the Koch brothers, want to suppress any science that could raise questions about their industry. They promote junk science that skews facts or is completely false altogether.