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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  May 8, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. >> keteyian: let me read to you some of the drugs that i have read that you have taken: testosterone. >> uh-huh. >> keteyian: trenbolone. >> da. >> keteyian: and parabolan. >> da. >> keteyian: those are powerful drugs. >> ( translated ): yes, these are all steroids. i was an untouchable, a sacred athlete. >> keteyian: tonight, you'll hear how this former russian track star-- and her husband-- exposed russia's top secret doping program, and damning details on just how far it was willing to go to win olympic gold. >> it's clearly the final nail in the coffin for russian track and field. >> lara logan: this is what is left of the ancient yezidi city of sinjar.
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we put a camera on a drone to try to capture the enormity of the devastation. isis sees the yezidis as devil worshippers and their policy here was total annihilation. what you're looking at is a thousand years of civilization reduced to rubble in fifteen months of terror. >> bill whitaker: it may surprise you to hear that oklahoma is the most earthquake- prone state in the continental u.s. >> whoa! >> whitaker: in 2009, there were, on average, two earthquakes per year of magnitude three or greater. last year, there were 907. what's more astonishing is that nearly all of oklahoma's earthquakes are manmade. >> olbert: what quake app do you use? >> kathy matthews: i use the one. >> whitaker: these oklahomans say they check their phone apps to track earthquakes around the state. this must be unnerving. >> it's no way to live.
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it's no way to live. >> i'm steve kroft. >> i'm leslie stahl. >> i'm bill whitaker. >> i'm lara logan. >> i'm armen keteyian. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories tonight on "60 minutes." ♪ every auto insurance policy has a number. but not every insurance company understands the life behind it. those who have served our nation. have earned the very best service in return. ♪ usaa. we know what it means to serve. get an auto insurance quote and see why 92% of our members plan to stay for life. there's a place for vacationers than just a little time off. the ones who choose to go big or stay home. ♪ come with me now...
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that's the more human side of engineering. experience what a lincoln can do for you at the lincoln spring collection event. lease a 2016 lincoln mkx for $369 a month or get 0% apr for 60 months only at your lincoln dealer. >> armen keteyian: with the summer olympics in rio less than 100 days away, russia finds itself embroiled in a doping scandal unseen since the days of the east german sports machine back in the 1970s and 'i80s. in november, the entire russian track and field team was
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suspended after an investigation by the world anti-doping agency found what it called a "culture of cheating." tonight, you'll hear from the unlikely couple who provided the proof that took down their country's state-sponsored system of doping. yuliya stepanov was one of russia's elite runners, fueled by steroids. vitaly stepanov had a low-level job collecting urine and blood samples inside the very agency assigned to combat drug use in sport. together, they exposed the dark secrets of their country's doping program and, as you will learn for the first time, damning new details about cheating at the 2014 winter games in sochi, russia. vitaly and yuliya stepanov now live in this sparse one-bedroom apartment somewhere in the united states, which we will not reveal for their protection. it's far from the cries of "traitor" and "judas" back home. the price for believing in the
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purity of sport. >> vitaly stepanov: for me, when you have this 100% belief that you are doing something right - you must follow this belief and let's see what happens. >> keteyian: yuliya's maiden name was rusanova and her specialty was the 800 meters. for more than five years, she willingly took anabolic steroids for strength and the blood- boosting substance e.p.o. for endurance. all of it directed by her russian coaches and medical staff. let me read to you some of the drugs that i have read that you have taken: testosterone. >> yuliya stepanov: uh-huh. >> keteyian: trenbolone. >> yuliya stepanov: da. >> keteyian: and parabolan. >> yuliya stepanov: da. >> keteyian: those are powerful drugs. >> yuliya stepanov ( translated ): yes, these are all steroids. >> keteyian: did you think anything that you were doing was wrong?
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>> yuliya stepanov: it's hard to believe you're doing something wrong when everybody around you says it's right, and there's no other way that you're shown. i was an untouchable, a sacred athlete. >> keteyian: untouchable meant she could take banned substances without the fear of being caught. the performance enhancing drugs put her on track for the 2012 summer olympics in london. she met vitaly stepanov at, of all places, a drug seminar. he had a low-level job at the russian anti-doping agency, known as rusada. he was a true believer. >> vitaly stepanov: i want sports to be fair. if somebody wins i want him or her to be a real hero, not a fake one. >> keteyian: fifteen minutes into their first date, he got a dose of reality. >> vitaly stepanov: she says, "i'm doping. all my teammates are doping as well." >> keteyian: and what do you think? >> vitaly stepanov: i had suspicion but i was hoping that
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i'm here to fix something. she says that's not what rusada does. rusada helps russian athletes to win medals. rusada does testing, but fake testing. >> keteyian: yet somehow two very different lives equaled a marriage. vitaly now lived with doping at home and corruption at work. >> vitaly stepanov: there was a situation when i was offered a bribe by the vice president of the federation, just like that person comes to me and he says "this athlete cannot be tested. how much money do you need?" and my answer is this is what i get paid for and i don't need any extra money. so she was selected. she must be tested. >> keteyian: vitaly says he repeatedly informed his bosses about the corruption, only to be told "what happens in russia, stays in russia." frustrated, he made a dangerous decision to reach outside russia, to the world anti-doping agency or wada. over the next three years, he
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sent 200 e-mails and 50 letters detailing what he had witnessed. but vitaly says wada told him it did not have the power to investigate inside russia. his crusade would eventually cost him his job and drive yuliya to file for divorce. >> yulia stepanov ( translated ): sometimes i thought he was my enemy. that he wants to interfere. it was not easy. >> vitaly stepanov: i think i'm having this opportunity to become a taxi driver in moscow. well i'll be a divorced taxi driver. so that's-- >> keteyian: that's where you were at that point in time? >> vitaly stepanov: yes, yes. >> keteyian: the fight was over. >> vitaly stepanov: the fight was over. i lost. >> keteyian: the turning point came right before the london games, when yuliya was injured. no longer a medal contender, she lost the protection of the system and tested positive for e.p.o. facing a two-year ban, she called vitaly just days before their divorce would be final. >> yulia stepanov: and he suggested, "let's tell the truth.
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let people know the whole truth, the way things happen in russia. to destroy the system one has to talk about it." >> vitaly stepanov: after i finished talking to her, you know, i think am i going to be able to get another person on my side? after three years of trying maybe i could get my wife on my side? trying to clean up sports? >> keteyian: not only did he bring her to his side, he convinced yuliya to take an extraordinary risk and use her phone to secretly record her coach giving her steroids, her teammates detailing their drug use, and the team medical director who told her how to get back on the drug program. >> yulia stepanov: it was total craziness. that's how i held the phone. i put the jacket over here and that's how i held the phone this way. >> keteyian: in this recording,
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800-meter runner mariya savinova admitted she took performance enhancing drugs. savinova won gold in london. she said: "my coach helps to cover up the tests. there is no other way to do it. everyone in russia is on pharma." the world anti-doping agency steered the stepanovs to a reporter at the german television network a-r-d. their tapes became the centerpiece of this documentary which aired in december 2014 and sent shockwaves through the world of sports. >> travis tygart: you know, we don't pick who our heroes are. but at the end of the day, they stood up. and they did the right thing to ensure that clean athletes' rights are protected around the globe. >> keteyian: travis tygart, the c.e.o. of the u.s. anti-doping agency, has been advising the stepanovs since they fled russia. tygart has built a reputation taking down some of the world's most notorious dopers including lance armstrong. you have called what the
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stepanovs have uncovered a defining moment in the anti- doping movement. why is that? >> tygart: the evidence confirmed what a lot of people have believed over the years. this is not just a few athletes obtaining performance-enhancing drugs. this was a system orchestrated by the sport leaders to ensure that they won at all costs. >> we are essentially limited to athletics, and to russia. >> keteyian: the outrage sparked by what the stepanovs uncovered finally forced wada to launch an investigation. its 300-plus page report detailed what wada called, quote a "deeply rooted culture of cheating" that reached the highest levels of the russian government. so bribes? >> tygart: bribes. >> keteyian: covering up tests? >> tygart: covering up tests. >> keteyian: fake urine? >> tygart: fake urine. >> keteyian: you name it. >> tygart: you name it, they attempted to get away with it. >> keteyian: we're talking about, fair to say, the highest levels of the sports ministry in russia? >> tygart: listen, they're responsible. the buck stops there.
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the cabinet-level position funds and oversees all of sport. so they're ultimately responsible. >> keteyian: when it came to doping in russia, nobody was more powerful than grigory rodchenkov. he ran its drug testing lab and had the ability to make positive drug tests disappear. the wada report called him the heart of russian doping. in the wake of the scandal, rodchenkov was fired by the kremlin and has since taken refuge in the u.s., for fear of his own safety because of how much he knows. over the last few months, rodchenkov has been sharing what he knows with vitaly stepanov. what he doesn't know is that stepanov has recorded 15 hours of their conversations. what rodchenkov has revealed threatens the credibility of the results at the 2014 winter games in sochi, russia. >> vitaly stepanov: he told me what i and yulia did, we could only see this much.
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but what was happening with cover-ups, it's like this. >> keteyian: rodchenkov, who ran the drug testing lab in sochi, bragged he was in possession of what he called "the sochi list," the russians who competed dirty at the games. he also said the russian equivalent of the f.b.i., the f.s.b., was directly involved. what did he tell you about the f.s.b., the russian intelligence officers and the sochi lab? >> vitaly stepanov: that some f.s.b. agents worked as doping control officers during the sochi games. that f.s.b. tried to control every single step of the anti- doping process in sochi. >> keteyian: we have listened to all of the conversations. and the biggest bomb dropped by rodchenkov was this: at least four russians won gold medals at the sochi olympics while on
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steroids, and his lab covered it up. a representative for rodchenkov told us, for now, he was not available for comment. >> tygart: look, it's a stunning revelation. and if true, it's a devastating blow to the olympic values. >> keteyian: rodchenkov's information is likely to influence the governing body of track and field when it meets next month to decide whether to lift its suspension of the russian track team and allow it to compete in rio. >> tygart: it's clearly the final nail in the coffin for russian track and field. >> keteyian: are you in favor of russia competing in the rio games in track and field? >> tygart: we're not. that can't come at the expense of clean athletes' rights. >> keteyian: one of those clean athletes is american alysia montano. she's among the world's top 800- meter runners and was a medal favorite at the 2012 london games. savinova. that's got to be a little tough for you to watch. >> alysia montano: yeah. >> keteyian: this was the first time montano allowed herself to
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watch the race she lost to gold medalist mariya savinova. you may remember savinova told yulia stepanov everyone in russia is on pharma. >> montano: i just see her blow right past me, and i'm thinking i'm going to go now. >> keteyian: montano had led the race for about 600 meters before finishing fifth. i mean, savinova passed you like you were, with all due respect-- >> montano: --literally, standing still. and you realize at that moment, i realized i'm racing against robots. >> keteyian: robots? >> montano: i'm racing against robots. >> keteyian: people that aren't really human? >> montano: they are not really human. you know, they have altered their chemical makeup in a way that i'm not going to be able to do. >> keteyian: mariya savinova and another russian who finished third in the race face lifetime bans for doping. meaning montano should have realized her olympic dream in the form of at least a bronze medal. do you spend much time thinking about what could have been?
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>> montano: yeah. i mean, i think one of the hardest things is it affects me every single day, you know? my family and i, you know, i'm not doing it for the money, but at the end of the day, i deserve what is owed to me. those times when, you know, sponsors ask you, "are you a medalist?" and you have to answer, "no," it makes you hang your head in shame. >> keteyian: at 30, alysia montano is now training to run in rio. in a twist worthy of a russian novel, she could find herself racing against yulia stepanov. who has petitioned to run at the summer olympics without a country, but a cause, under an olympic flag. >> cbs money watch update sponsored by: >> reporter: good evening.
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saudi arabia's new energy minister is vowing to maintain the country's oil policy. euro zone finance ministers have an emergency meeting tomorrow over greece's debt. and career builder's mother survey shows two in five moms are the breadwinners for their houses. i'm elaine quijano, cbs news. this is brad.
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>> lara logan: american soldiers have been drawn deeper into the war against isis and this past week, a third u.s. serviceman was killed in northern iraq. it's a fight that began more than a year and a half ago when isis was expanding its territory, and it has been hard to shed light on the areas under its control because most reporters can't go there. but there have been some places where isis has been run off, and sinjar is one of them.
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it's a small city that lies on a highway connecting isis territory in syria to its territory inside iraq. and when isis fighters took control, they began to systematically wipe out the yezidi people who lived there. after sinjar was liberated, we went there with father patrick desbois, a french catholic priest, who is one of the world's leading voices on genocide. he spent fifteen years documenting the mass murder of jews by hitler's mobile death squads. now he says he's on a mission to expose what he calls "the isis killing machine." this is what is left of the ancient yezidi city of sinjar. we put a camera on a drone to try to capture the enormity of the devastation. isis sees the yezidis as devil worshippers and their policy here was total annihilation.
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what you're looking at is a thousand years of civilization reduced to rubble in fifteen months of terror. last november, some 7,000 kurdish peshmerga soldiers backed by heavy u.s. airpower pushed the islamic state out of here. the kurds said they killed around 300 terrorists in the two day offensive. this is what it takes to claim a city back from the islamic state. there is nothing left. any direction you walk, all you find is more destruction. one street after another. an entire city literally in ruins. we walked the shattered streets of the yezidi heartland with father patrick desbois, who was on his fourth trip to iraq. he told us what isis didn't destroy, kurdish forces leveled as they fought their way in. >> father patrick desbois: i
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asked the peshmerga, they told me it was the only way to make isis go. the only way to make them go is to destroy the city. >> logan: the only way to defeat them? >> father desbois: yeah, it's terrible. >> logan: father desbois has been studying the minds and methods of mass murderers like hitler most of his life and he'd come here to investigate the genocide of the yezidis by isis, an organization more sophisticated than he expected. >> father desbois: it's not easy to manage your war, to manage international terrorism and to manage a genocide in same territory. hitler, it took for him a long time before doing all that. and isis they did it so quickly. >> logan: does that speed frighten you? >> father desbois: yeah, it's frightening because it means actually there is a kind of science of terrorist, war and genocide. they developed a science. >> logan: the islamic state stormed into sinjar in august 2014. they murdered at least 5,000 and kidnapped thousands of others as they cleansed the land of
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yezidis. father desbois said their strategy here was unlike anywhere else. those who could fled to sinjar mountain, where images of their desperation reached the world, in part prompting the first u.s. airstrikes of the war. evidence of the isis killing machine lies, father desbois said, in the city's remains. which building is this? >> father desbois: it's where they put the yezidis, all the yezidis of shingal. >> logan: that's why he brought us to what's left of the main administration building. >> father desbois: that is the beginning of genocide, it's the first step for me. >> logan: in this building. >> father desbois: yeah. >> logan: here, isis rounded up yezidi men, women and children. >> father debois: they say to people, "don't worry, we will bring you to a nice building." it's why they accept. >> logan: and they don't think that they're going to die? >> father debois: no. >> logan: that's why they come? >> father debois: yeah, that's why they come. and here begins the selection. and so this system is system of permanent, permanent, permanent selection.
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>> logan: father desbois said they're registered, separated and ordered to hand over money, jewelry, cellphones. isis had a plan for everyone. >> father desbois: they see a boy who is ten years old. he can carry a bomb, he will carry bombs. they see a girl, she's beautiful. oh, she will be sold to an emir to be a sex slave. they have the sense of utility. a person is only to be used for something. >> logan: each person has a purpose? >> father desbois: each person has a purpose. >> logan: and if they have no purpose, what happens? >> father desbois: they kill them. >> logan: wherever we went in sinjar, kurdish soldiers came with us. they said there were still hidden bombs all over the city, and father desbois used them as a guide. so where are they taking us? the tunnels? >> father desbois: over to one of the tunnels, yeah. >> logan: isis owned this ground for 15 months, transforming sinjar into a fortress with tunnels underneath the city. the entrance to one was inside this house.
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with isis still around two miles from here, the soldiers were tense. what we found, surprised us. that's incredible. i mean it just looks like a normal house. there were mountains of dirt in every room. whatever they took from the ground, they kept inside these walls, so american drones wouldn't see a tunnel being built. this particular tunnel goes to the home of the islamic state emir of the city, basically the top guy in charge here when the islamic state was in control. and we were told that he and his inner circle his bodyguards, his men would hide underground here with him during the bombings. out on the street, father desbois was approached by survivors, desperate for answers about family members still missing. >> father desbois: what was the name of his father? >> logan: there are mass graves across sinjar, and we had been to some of them.
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at this one east of the city where kurdish officials had marked off the site, there were human bones still scattered in the dirt. it's believed yezidis fleeing to sinjar mountain were caught by isis and killed here. it's impossible to know how long it's been here? >> father desbois: no, we don't know. only a doctor can say. >> logan: and in this mass grave on the outskirts of sinjar, he was told some 80 yezidi women were executed. they shot them right here? >> father desbois: yeah. >> logan: and how do they know this? >> father desbois: we know this because we can find bones and everything underground. >> there's half a skull there and two skulls there? >> father desbois: yeah. and here you half of the head. and here, too. it's really a shooting, extermination site. >> logan: at every site we visited, his team photographed and filmed the evidence and recorded g.p.s. coordinates so they could come back. his lead investigator, nastasie
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costel, has been at his side helping to locate killing fields like these for years. as they carry out their investigation in yezidi towns and villages, father desbois is not asking eyewitnesses to recall what they saw more than seventy years ago, like he did with the holocaust. >> father desbois: how many people are buried here? >> logan: this time, he's interviewing survivors with the horror still fresh in their minds. so how does that change your investigation? >> father desbois: it's completely different because the challenge now is to stop the genocide, is to try to save people, is to try to carry the voice of the victim, to make people conscious. the killing machine is alive. >> logan: so, do you feel a sense of urgency then? >> father desbois: urgency and the immense tragedy also to have the conscience that the world doesn't wake up more now than '42.
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>> logan: for the yezidis, there is no holier place than the temple of lalish, about 100 miles from sinjar. they believe in one god and seven angels, an ancient religion that over time has adopted elements of many faiths. as long as they have been on earth, the yezidis have been persecuted. why do you think that is? they are peaceful people. >> father desbois: yeah, it's a people who, as i understand refuse to assimilate. and so it was like a pocket of resistance inside the islamic world. >> logan: their faith is passed orally from generation to generation. so they have no sacred written book like the bible or the koran, which is one of the reasons isis has condemned them to death or sexual slavery. when yezidi women are rescued or escape from the islamic state, they come here to the spring
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that flows under the temple to be cleansed. now the yezidis are landless in their own land. there are nearly 200,000 living in refugee camps about 120 miles northeast of sinjar in kurdistan, where father desbois spends most of his time, piecing together a picture of what happened to the yezidis of sinjar. he's recorded over 400 hours of testimony so far. more than 80 men and women, most of which we caution you is disturbing to see and difficult to hear. >> logan: and he allowed us to sit in with him on his second interview with nasreen, who is 21. still terrified of isis after more than a year under their control, she covered her face. "the wife would hold down my
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hands as the husband raped me," she told father desbois. she said at one point, she was tied to a bed, naked for three months, and raped, day and night. >> father: it was many men every night? >> logan: "everyday there would be ten men and they were from all countries." maha is 28. she had recently arrived in the camp, held by isis or "daesh" as they're known here, for almost a year and a half. she gave these photographs to father desbois, which she said isis had taken. they showed three of her children dead -poisoned, she claimed- by the man who was raping her. "he killed them because we tried to escape," she said. but for father desbois, the heart of the isis war machine is not only the suffering of the yezidi girls. >> father desbois: if we show only the girls i think in one
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way, the daesh, they don't care. it's not very secret. very secret is the long term machine they are preparing. i'm afraid that they use the image we give of them, rapists, it's like if you say hitler was a rapist. say, yes, they raped a lot of girls. but unfortunately, it was a much larger machine and isis is the same category of machine. >> logan: very little is known about that. >> father desbois: very little. very little. and for me, that's the secret of daesh. >> logan: a secret that lies with boys like these two brothers, who for their safety asked us not to use their names. they said isis kept them alive to train them as terrorists. "everything they did was to try to make us like them," he said. "they ordered us to plant hundreds of bombs and taught us how to detonate them." >> father desbois: it seems a person received a bullet in the head.
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>> logan: forensic specialists are finally beginning to exhume these mass graves and the number of dead - already around 5,000 - is expected to rise. as the yezidi genocide enters its 21st month, there are still about 3,000 yezidis being held by isis today. how do you stop the machine? >> father desbois: it can be stopped only military. >> logan: militarily. >> father desbois: only military. i-- how-- how could be-- be stopped hitler? >> logan: you had to defeat him on the battlefield. >> father desbois: in one way or another. >> logan: and kill the idea. >> father desbois: and kill the people who carry them. >> this cbs sports update is brought to you by ford. at the wells fargo championship today in charlotte, north carolina, james hann won in a playoff against roberto castro, his second career tour victory.
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cleveland completes the sweep in atlanta advancing in the eastern conference final. nhl, tampa bay defeats the islanders, winning that series four games to one. for more sports news and information, go to cbssports.com. jim nantz reporting from cbssports.com. jim nantz reporting from charlotte. ♪ ♪ ♪ life is a sport. we are the utility. the new ford escape. flea bites can mean misery for your cat. advantage® ii monthly topical kills fleas through contact. fleas do not have to bite your cat to die. advantage® ii. fight the misery of biting fleas.
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>> bill whitaker: during this time of year, oklahomans are accustomed to searching the skies for signs of tornadoes. today, they're just as wary of the hazards coming from the ground beneath their feet. tornado alley is now earthquake alley. oklahoma is the most earthquake prone state in the continental u.s. what's more astonishing is that nearly all of oklahoma's earthquakes are manmade. they are being triggered by the biggest and most important industry in the state: oil and gas production. but it's not from fracking, which is what most people think. before 2009, there were, on average, two earthquakes a year in oklahoma that were magnitude three or greater. last year, there were 907. that's right, 907.
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the vast majority of earthquakes are small, causing little or no damage. but what they lack in punch, they make up in sheer volume. this tally from the u.s. geological survey shows the number of earthquakes in oklahoma has increased every year since 2009, with more than 2,000 magnitude three and above. that means more of the bigger ones, like this 4.3 magnitude quake last december in edmond, oklahoma. >> melinda olbert: i woke up scared to death, praying that the house wouldn't fall down. i couldn't believe that the windows didn't shatter. >> whitaker: melinda olbert and kathy matthews are neighbors in edmond. >> olbert: what quake app do you use? >> kathy matthews: i use the one-- >> whitaker: they say they check their phone apps to track earthquakes around the state all day long. look at that. >> matthews: cherokee, enid, fairview, medford, stillwater. >> whitaker: all in one day? >> matthews: all in one 24-hour
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period; one hour ago, two hours ago, four hours ago. >> whitaker: this must be unnerving. >> matthews: it's-- it's no way to live. it's no way to live. >> whitaker: cornell university seismologist katie keranen was teaching in oklahoma when the increase in quakes began. she says the situation is unprecedented. what's going on here in oklahoma has never been seen before? >> katie keranen: just the number of earthquakes is astounding, but how fast it grew it is perhaps even more astounding. >> whitaker: keranen and her student catherine lambert have set up equipment to detect extremely small quakes in an area where there haven't been many, hoping the small quakes might provide warnings of larger ones. >> keranen: and so, so far we have only looked at data from four days of recording, and so we see small earthquakes in the area. >> whitaker: even over four days. >> keranen: even over four days, we actually see many dozens of earthquakes. >> whitaker: many dozens? >> keranen: that's right. >> whitaker: keranen was among the first scientists to link the earthquakes to oil and gas production. these are manmade earthquakes.
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>> keranen: most people feel that the majority of these are linked to this water being disposed. >> whitaker: the water that's causing the earthquakes is not from fracking, which is water and chemicals pumped underground to free up oil and gas. this is naturally occurring water that's been trapped below ground with the petroleum for millions of years. this is the oil being pumped out? >> gary larue: oil, gas and water. >> whitaker: gary larue is president of petrowarrior, a small, independent oil company that operates 14 wells in oklahoma. what happens in this cylinder is what happens on a grand scale at wells across the region. the oil, gas and water naturally separate. >> larue: so this will be the saltwater here. this is gas up here. >> whitaker: the bubbles going-- that's the gas. and look at that. the oil. like every other operator in the region, big and small, larue's oil wells produce more water than petroleum.
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the gas and oil are collected in tanks for sale, but the water is too briny to be recycled or used. it's considered waste. and all of this is saltwater-- >> larue: saltwater. uh-huh. so it has to go back in the ground. we have to get rid of it. >> whitaker: getting rid of the water means sending it down a disposal well that's drilled deep below the freshwater aquifers - to prevent their contamination - and the zone where it came from. this is it? >> larue: this is it. >> whitaker: this is what all the talk's about? >> larue: just a well in the ground. >> whitaker: larue's disposal well is one of more than 3,000 in oklahoma. the state created a website to explain the earthquakes. this map shows disposal wells as blue dots. the orange dots are earthquakes. when the price of oil went over $100 a barrel in 2008, oil and gas production increased dramatically. so did the amount of wastewater and earthquakes. what's causing these earthquakes? >> mark zoback: what we have
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learned in oklahoma is that the earthquakes that are occurring in enormous numbers are the result of waste water injection. >> whitaker: mark zoback is professor of geophysics at stanford university. zoback says there are two factors behind the earthquakes. one is the large volumes of water being disposed, and the other is where it all goes: deep down into a layer of earth called the arbuckle. what makes this such a good place to dispose of all that water? >> zoback: well, it's very thick. it's porous, it's permeable so it can accommodate, you know, very large injection rates. >> whitaker: the only problem with the arbuckle is that it sits directly on top of the crystalline basement, a rock layer riddled with earthquake faults. so this water is seeping into the faults? >> zoback: the water pressure is seeping into the faults. and the fault is clamped shut and the water pressure sort of pushes the two sides of the fault apart and allows the slippage to occur today, when it
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might not occur for thousands of years into the future. >> whitaker: earthquakes are now a daily occurrence in oklahoma, but it was three quakes in november, 2011 near the town of prague that caught everyone's attention. one was magnitude 5.6, the largest in oklahoma's history. it toppled a spire at st. gregory's university and severely damaged 14 houses, including the one where john and jerri loveland live with their two children. >> jerri loveland: our bed was shaking and all you could hear was glass. >> john loveland: you know, earthquake insurance is something that you don't ever think you're going to have to have. >> jerri loveland: here. >> whitaker: in oklahoma. >> john loveland: especially in oklahoma. >> whitaker: like most oklahomans, the lovelands didn't have earthquake insurance and have been doing their own repairs to save money. more than four years after the quake, jerri loveland often resorts to simply hiding the damage. doesn't that concern you? that you've got a crack like this-- >> jerri loveland: i'm afraid
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that if we went in and fixed these and then there was another earthquake, even a little, it's going to crack it all and then you've done all that work for no reason. >> whitaker: i'm not sure-- >> jerri loveland: --crack. >> whitaker: --covering it is fixing it. >> jerri loveland: it's not fixing it. but that's our only choice. it's not like we have the money to bulldoze the house down and start over. that would be great. but it's not going to happen. we have a mortgage. we live on one income. and i realize that that's our choice, but our choice was great when somebody else didn't screw our house up, so-- and that's proven fact that somebody did it. it's not a natural disaster. >> whitaker: oil and gas is oklahoma's largest industry. you can see its importance to the state from the oil rig in front of the capitol. in recent years, companies like sandridge, chesapeake, new dominion and devon energy have employed nearly one of six workers in oklahoma. all the companies declined to provide someone to speak to us. for years, govenor mary fallin was skeptical the quakes were connected to oil and gas
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production. but as the number of quakes skyrocketed, she created an advisory council in 2014 to study the situation. last summer, fallin conceded a connection. >> govenor mary fallin: i think we all know now that there is a direct correlation between the increase of earthquakes that we've seen in oklahoma with disposal wells. >> whitaker: nonetheless, last year, the state cut the budget of the agencies investigating the quakes and regulating the oil and gas industry. kim hatfield of the oklahoma independent petroleum association sits on the governor's council. he did agree to an interview and insists the science is inconclusive. >> kim hatfield: you have to understand that injection into the arbuckle is not something that started in 2009, 2008, or even 2000. this is something that's been going on for 60, 70 years. and we've had-- had a sudden
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change. and the question is, what changed? >> whitaker: the amount of wastewater injected into disposal wells last year is triple what it was in 2009, adding up to more than 200 billion gallons of water in seven years. the thing that's different is the amount of water that the oil industry is pumping into the arbuckle formation. that's what's different. and along with that difference comes these earthquakes. that's not the trigger? >> hatfield: the injection of water is a factor. but it is not possibly the only factor. we don't know. >> whitaker: so what more needs to be done? >> hatfield: we need to understand this issue. it's not as simple as saying "well, let's just stop injecting water." the energy industry is-- is-- is very important to the state.
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>> mike teague: if it is your house that's shaking there is no way that we're moving fast enough. >> whitaker: mike teague is oklahoma's secretary of energy and environment. he's got the tough job of protecting oklahoma's anxious citizens without damaging its most important industry. >> teague: i keep track of all earthquakes above a 3.0 in the state and 2012 we had three dozen in the entire year. 2013, we had 109. next year, we had 585. last year, we had 907. >> whitaker: that's an alarming increase. >> teague: absolutely. >> whitaker: so what have you concluded is the cause? >> teague: well, the focus right-- is right now, is disposal wells. >> whitaker: how do you balance out the economic benefit of the gas and oil industry and the public safety? >> teague: i don't think it's a balance. i think public safety has to take precedence. >> whitaker: mark zoback from stanford has been working with mike teague and the state earthquake council for more than a year. >> zoback: lowering the total
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amount of salt water injection into the arbuckle is the only way that these earthquakes are going to start to subside. >> whitaker: do they have time? >> zoback: there's nothing we know that says larger earthquakes are imminent. but everything we know says that the earthquakes are, are going to be continuing. and there is a probability of larger earthquakes in the future, if they do nothing. >> whitaker: this winter, the state called for widespread voluntary reductions in wastewater disposal by as much as 45% in earthquake zones. more than 600 wells are covered by the cutbacks. last year, when neighboring kansas had similar seismic activity, it reduced oil wastewater disposal and saw a 60% drop in quakes from the year before. but considering the huge volume of water already pumped underground in oklahoma, it's too early to know whether the cuts here will succeed. nowhere is the need for action more urgent than cushing, oklahoma.
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cushing is home to the nation's largest crude oil storage and pipeline facilities, which the department of homeland security calls critical infrastructure. the complex was rocked by a series of earthquakes last fall. now the state has asked you to stop putting so much water down. >> larue: they did a voluntary action. we're six miles away from cushing over there. >> whitaker: independent oil man gary larue says cutting back on the disposal of water also means cutting back on the production of oil and gas. with the recent drop in oil prices, the cutbacks, he says, will hurt. >> larue: $30 a barrel, if we have to cut our production in half because of restrictions they put on us, we're done. >> whitaker: you're out of business? >> larue: yeah, we won't be drilling wells, we won't be employing local people to do our service work, we're done. it will drive us out. >> whitaker: just two weeks ago, larue abandoned one of his 14 wells to comply with the cutbacks. >> kathy matthews: you know that it's going to hurt the companies. it's going to hurt your friends.
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it's going to hurt your neighbors. but you cannot compromise, when it comes to public safety. >> olbert: we may be talking about trucking it 30 miles away. i think that could be done. >> kathy matthews: i won't be fear-mongered into thinking that you can't do anything. because in my heart of hearts, i believe you can. and i believe you should. and i believe you haven't. and now you're paying the price. >> olbert: we're paying the price. >> bill whitaker has covered earthquakes around the world. but oklahoma's are a different story. go to 60minutesovertime.com, sponsored by pfizer. ♪ your body was made for better things than rheumatoid arthritis. before you and your rheumatologist move to another treatment, ask if xeljanz is right for you. xeljanz is a small pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well. xeljanz can reduce joint pain and swelling in as little as two weeks,
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>> whitaker: in the mail, viewers commented about our story on fintech. lesley stahl reported on how financial technology is revolutionizing the way we do our banking. one minnesota viewer wondered if "60 minutes" has been sending mixed mobile messages. other viewers thought the young fintech entrepreneurs were callous about bank workers losing their jobs because of the fintech revolution. i'm bill whitaker. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes."
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