Legendary artist, singer, performer and activist Yoko Ono has lent her support to the anti-fracking campaign. On Monday Yoko placed a full page in the New York Times calling on Governor Cuomo to “Image There’s No Fracking … and give clean energy a chance.” The ad illustrates and describes how cement in wells at such great depths leaks, poisoning drinking water with gases and toxic chemicals.
“No amount of regulation can ever make fracking safe,” the ad reads. “No one can be sent thousands of feet under the earth to make repairs once the cement fails – and it will. The enormous pressure and temperature changes at those depths guarantee it.”
Yoko and her son Sean Lennon are part of a loose collective of artists united against fracking that demands a ban on this environmentally hazardous type of prospecting.
Fracking is a short for hydraulic fracturing, the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside. First, deep wells are drilled straight down through the aquifer. Next, millions of gallons of water laced with chemicals are pumped down, breaking apart the rock and freeing trapped natural gas along with other dangerous materials.
There are more than 27,000 wells in the U.S. and each well uses one to eight million gallons of water and 80-300 tons of chemicals each time it’s fracked. However, only four states have robust drilling rules in place.
Alarmingly, the fracking industry remains exempt from Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water and Clean Air Acts, hazardous waste disposal, and other federal regulations.
Activists say fracking operations are contaminating major water sources, speeding up climate change, and polluting our air. Communities across the country are living with these devastating impacts of fracking. All over the country local communities in places such as California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and other states are demanding that fracking be banned. Vermont has already banned fracking in the state.
The issue has already made it to the Oscars when Gasland was nominated in the Best Documentary category.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.