SHARE
The Oklahoma Capitol Building. Image courtesy of Daniel Mayer/Wikimedia Commons.

Oklahoma’s state House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday designed to block local officials from banning hydraulic fracturing.

The bill was approved by a 64-32 vote and will now be sent back to the state senate for further review, the Oklahoman said.

Senate bill 809 would prevent local governments in the energy rich state from imposing their own bans on oil and gas drilling including fracking.

Under the proposed bill localities will still be able to impose regulations on road use, noise, odors, fencing, setbacks and traffic tied to oil and gas production but will not be able to institute outright drilling bans.

Localities would also keep control over drilling operations within their 100 year floodplain, the Stillwater News Press said.

The bill comes on the heels of a recent report by the Oklahoma Geological Survey that alleges wastewater disposal wells used during hydraulic fracturing may have triggered some earthquakes in the state.

Supporters of the bill said  localities will still have the necessary tools to protect public health and safety while encouraging more oil and gas investment.

“We understand concerns about public safety and this bill provides those protections at the local level while also ensuring that one of the state’s key economic pillars can continue to use the modern techniques that have kept Oklahoma moving forward,” State Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs Arnella Karges told the Oklahoman.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Oklahoma is the fifth largest crude producer in the United States, excluding offshore areas, and is home to the Cushing oil terminal.