Thursday, December 18, 2014

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Hudson Valley

Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon speak out against hydrofracking

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Hydrofracking has been a controversial issue in New York State, and now two famous faces have taken their stand. Our Vince Gallagher has more.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- "What he was saying was ‘yes, we have to know the truth, otherwise we won't survive.’ So, let's get the truth,” said Yoko Ono, activist and musician.

Yoko Ono was referring to her late husband John Lennon's song “Gimmie Some Truth.” Yoko Ono joined dozens of others with a message to the Department of Environmental Conservation

"We fully expect you, Commissioner Martens, to read and consider each and every one of these carefully constructed letters from the citizens of New York, and we will be watching," said Sandra Steingraber, a biologist.

A coalition of state residents and organizations, including Ono and her son, Sean Lennon, gathered together in Albany to remind New York State residents on the possible dangers of fracking.

"New Yorkers want to protect the water, protect the air, and we don't want fracking here and we can create a renewable economy viable than fossil fuel," said Sean Lennon.

Yoko and Sean created the organization "Artists Against Fracking." In addition to living in New York City, they own property in upstate New York, so they say this is an issue that literally hits "close to home."

"We don't believe that it's possible to regulate and change the laws of physics through regulation, cement has been proven to have sixty percent breakage over time," said Sean Lennon.

"There are many scientists who did actually make a statement that this is very bad for your health...but also even if you don't think about that the land value will just go straight down," said Yoko Ono.

Friday marked the final day of public comments. There were more than 200,000 on this issue, represented by the dozens of boxes, which will be delivered to the DEC.

"As one of more than 19 million New Yorkers, I can't bear to think of failed well casings, spills and leaks, contaminating our state's precious drinking water," said Julia Armstrong, a fracking opponent.

Advocates for hydrofracking say the process can be productive while still being environmentally responsible.

"You do this properly you don't have unnecessary release of materials, you have 25 days to drill a well, five days to stimulate a well and it produces for 30 to 40 years," said Tom West, National Gas attorney.

Ono, Lennon and others also signed a letter that was delivered to the governor, asking him to ban fracking in New York State, as many opponents say regulations can't change the actual process. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP