It began with a July 9 Saturday Night Live skit and has now turned into a celebrity coalition: Artists Against Fracking.
Yoko Ono and her son Sean Lennon are leading more than 180 artists in a fight against fracking. The group’s development was announced this week at a Manhattan news conference. The celebrities/artists created the group to protest possible drilling in the Marcellus Shale in upstate New York. Ono and Lennon’s first step as an organization was a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo asking him to ban fracking because they believe it will contaminate the state’s watersheds, including New York City’s water supply.
Others stars who are part of this movement include: former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Lady Gaga, Jimmy Fallon, Alec Baldwin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Hathaway, Julianne Moore, Uma Thurman, Hugh Jackman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Zooey Deschanel.
Many of the stars have tweeted their anti-fracking viewpoints and publicly speak out against the practice.
Sean Lennon has been quoted in news sources discussing his time growing up on a farm in the catskills, specifically in a recent New York Times editorial. Lennon recalls “skipping stones with my father and drinking unpasteurized milk.” He began his research into fracking began a few months ago when gas companies came to town looking to build hydro-fracking infrastructure. In his editorial he wrote, “Though my father died when I was five, I have always felt lucky to live on land he loved dearly, land in an area that is now on the verge of being destroyed.
The celebrity movement hasn’t sit well with pro-fracking supporters, natural gas organizations, or the natural gas companies.
America’s Natural Gas Alliance released a statement regarding Sean Lennon’s editorial saying, “Sean Lennon’s piece on hydraulic fracturing in the New York Times is far more art than science and was sorely lacking a fact check. Many of us at ANGA are huge fans of the Beatles and the Lennon legacy and so it gives us no pleasure to say that in describing his world of honeybees and raspberries Sean echoes his father’s more imaginative periods and does not seem inclined toward a serious discussion about natural gas. The truth is that natural gas has brought substantial economic and environmental benefits to communities across this country. Natural gas producers are committed to the safe and responsible development of this resource and that commitment means people do not need to trade protection of their air, land and water for their economic advancement.”