Media release

(Stillwater, Okla) — Modella Gallery is pleased to present “Oklahoma Shakedown,” a 2016 documentary examining the controversial issue of Oklahoma’s manmade earthquakes and the people standing up for their rights in a state dominated by the oil and gas industry.  The film will be shown Thur., June 13, at 6:30 pm, at the gallery, 721 S. Main.

Dakota Raynes, activist, and part of the documentary, will be in attendance to provide an update on the related issues. The film is shown in conjunction with the current exhibit, “Oklahoma Shakedown.”

According to Raynes, in 2015, Oklahoma experienced over 850 magnitude three or greater earthquakes, an increasing trend since 2010 and far more than any other state in the US. Researchers attribute these quakes to the excessive injection of groundwater in the subsurface, a key step in the hydraulic fracturing process.  “We’re being beaten little by little every day,” activist Dakota Raynes said as he compared the constant quakes to a boxing match with homeowners.

Throughout the film, Raynes’ group, Stop Fracking Payne County, led by fellow activist Angela Spotts, fights for better zoning regulations in the town of Stillwater as energy lobbyists push to allow hydraulic fracturing within city limits.  Spotts expresses distress over the rush to frack and drill no matter the cost. “The
greed is phenomenal,” Spotts said.

Todd Halihan, Ph.d., of Oklahoma State University and Austin Holland, Ph.d., former head of the Oklahoma Geological Survey support Spotts’ sentiments with the science behind these manmade earthquakes, as well as the potential dangers the future may hold.

Oklahoma native Taylor Mullins directed and produced the film. Mullins has a bachelor’s in film and video studies and a master’s in broadcast and electronic media from the University of Oklahoma. After growing up in Oklahoma City, Mullins’ passion and interest for this issue peaked when he saw how small-town homeowners across the state were being victimized and losing their property to manmade earthquakes.

 

Modella Gallery is a non-profit art gallery dedicated to bringing contemporary arts to Stillwater, Oklahoma. Intended to be a conduit for the arts, the gallery presents a continuing program of art exhibitions of local and national artists, visual, music and performance events, screenings, and special projects. Modella Gallery is located at 721 South Main Street in historic downtown Stillwater, OK. Hours are Thursday and Friday 5-8p; Saturday 11a-5p, and Sunday 11a-3p. For further information, please contact the gallery at (405) 880-4434 or visit modellaartgallery.org.