— By CHRISTIN COYNE
The Texas House of Representatives will be studying whether there is a connection between the recent Azle area earthquakes and oil and gas activity in the area with a newly created subcommittee of the Texas House Committee on Energy Resources.
Rep. Phil King, who represents Parker and Wise counties on the Energy Resources Committee, was appointed to the Subcommittee on Seismic Activity, tasked with investigating the rise in number of earthquakes occurring in areas near oil and gas production and disposal wells.
Myra Crownover, R-Denton, who is also vice chair of the energy resources committee, will head the subcommittee. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, and Chris Paddie, R-Marshall, were also named to the subcommittee.
“The recent rise of seismic activity in Texas has caused much debate and assumptions to be made with regards to oil and gas production and disposal wells,” Chairman of the Texas House Committee on Energy Resources and State Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, said in a statement released Thursday. “I believe that with the help of the Texas Railroad Commission we can study and find the cause for the seismic activity based on scientific facts. I am confident that Vice Chair Crownover and the members of the subcommittee will conduct a thorough review of the best information and science available.”
“Although seismic activity is not unheard of in North Texas, the frequency of these tremors in the Azle area is certainly a new phenomenon,” King stated in a press release. “I look forward to our subcommittee’s review of the hard science as it is developed. This has been very unnerving for many in our community.”