Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon took out a full-page ad in the New York Times Monday to protest natural gas fracking in New York state.
“Governor Cuomo: Imagine there’s no fracking …” the ad states and urges New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to “give clean energy a chance.”
Ono and Lennon are part of “Artists Against Fracking,” a loose coalition of celebrities united in their opposition to hydraulic fracturing, a process by which natural gas is extracted from the earth.
Other artists in the anti-fracking group include Grumpy Old Men actress Daryl Hannah and transcendentalist fraudster Deepak Chopra.
The ad claims “no amount of government regulation can ever make fracking safe” and says wells are bound to leak toxic chemicals into groundwater.
A moratorium has banned fracking in New York since 2008 but Cuomo is considering lifting the ban and allowing the practice in five upstate counties near Pennsylvania, where more than 3,000 wells have been drilled.
Proponents of fracking claim the advertisement trucks in falsehoods and reveals how out of touch the wealthy celebrities who fund it are with average citizens.
"Was breaking up the Beatles not enough?” asked Steve Everley, spokesman for EnergyInDepth.org, a pro-fracking group. “Unemployed men and women across New York would like to imagine a future where they have jobs and can better support their own families.”
“Unfortunately, Yoko and her ‘artist' friends have come together to try to prevent that from happening, chiefly by making alarmist and false claims about hydraulic fracturing. Of course, you literally have to live in a yellow submarine not to recognize that this is a safe and proven technology, as confirmed by state and federal officials, as well as independent experts across the country. Perhaps instead of running expensive full page ads they should spend a day in the life of out of work folks upstate who don't have the luxury of living in high-priced New York City apartment buildings," said Everly.
Both the University of Texas at Austin and SUNY Buffalo released studies this year reporting there are minimal environmental risks associated with fracking.
Recent public polling suggests the opinions of noted fashion designer Ono may be in the minority.
Siena College in New York reported that a poll of 822 registered New York voters found 50 percent of respondents in suburban areas support drilling in upstate portions the state, while 32 percent are opposed.
Forty-one percent of those surveyed in New York City support upstate drilling, while twenty-nine percent are opposed.