By Robert A. Vella

Oklahoma is one of those U.S. states having a well known reputation for backwardness.  It is predominantly white, assertively Christian, aggressively conservative, and has high rates of poverty and other public health problems.  It also resides smack-dab in the middle of Tornado Alley, and in recent years has been plagued by nerve-rattling earthquake swarms resulting from the hydraulic fracturing (i.e. fracking) operations of an exploitative and unrestrained fossil fuel industry.  Since the disastrous Dust Bowl days of the Great Depression, Oklahoma has resisted much of the social progress achieved elsewhere in America and around the world.

So whenever some light shines through from The Sooner State, it often makes national news headlines.  Such is the case this week after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that a Ten Commandments monument must be removed from the state capitol because it violates the U.S. Constitution’s establishment clause in the First Amendment, and that homeowners can sue oil companies over damages caused by fracking-related earthquakes.


Oklahoma Supreme Court orders removal of Ten Commandments monument

Oklahoma court rules homeowners can sue oil companies over quakes

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