In recent years, Texas and other central U.S. states have experienced a surprising jump in the number of earthquakes. That has led scientists and regulators on a quest to determine whether the earthquakes are being caused by human activities or are occurring naturally.

In August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency commented that “there is a significant possibility” that recent earthquakes in North Texas are connected to oil and gas activities. The federal agency released a report on Aug. 15 in which it evaluated the Texas Underground Injection Control Program, implemented by the Railroad Commission of Texas regulating the state’s oil and gas industry. The commission has not officially acknowledged a connection between earthquakes and oil and gas activities.

— Texas Lawyer