WATCH: Bernie Sanders Rips Trump’s EPA Pick For Waffling on Fracking: ‘You’re not going to get my vote!’

(EnviroNews USA Headline News Desk) — Washington D.C. — During Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s Senate confirmation hearings for nominee of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bernie Sanders asked him to discuss his response to earthquakes caused by fracking wastewater injection in Oklahoma.

CNN reports that scientists from several organizations, including the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Stanford University, tie the increase in Oklahoma earthquake numbers and magnitude to the process of injecting wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, a.k.a. “fracking,” back underground.

“You are in a state which is seeing a record-breaking number of earthquakes. You’re the Attorney General. Obviously, you have stood up and said you have done everything you can, to stop future earthquakes as a result of fracking?” said Sanders.

“Senator, I have acknowledged that I am concerned,” Pruitt said.

“If that is the kind of EPA administrator you will be, you’re not going to get my vote,” Sanders replied.

FULL EXCHANGE BETWEEN SANDERS AND PRUITT ON EPA, CLIMATE, FRACKING

ABC News explains that Oklahoma isn’t alone in facing increased earthquakes due to human activity; “vast swaths of central and eastern parts of the country have recorded an uptick in seismic activity during their region’s oil and gas boom.” Scientific American reported in 2016 that governments in Oklahoma, Texas, and Ohio have been slow to react to the increase in earthquakes. The U.S. Geological Survey pointed out the connection to the oil and gas industry in 2013 and the Oklahoma state government recognized the connection in 2015.

As part of its protection of “underground sources of drinking water from underground injection” the EPA “regulates the construction, operation, permitting, and closure of injection wells used to place fluids underground for storage or disposal.”

Pruitt has been a controversial EPA nominee because he has filed 14 lawsuits against the EPA, has complex ties to the oil and gas industry, and also stated during the hearing in conversation with Sanders that the connection between human activity and global warming is “subject to more debate.”

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