As the pro-hydrofracking forces rally at the Capitol today, Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to not rush a health review on the controversial drilling technique.
They issued the statement on behalf of Artists Against Fracking, a group of more than 180 artists that includes Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow.
“We call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to clearly announce that he will not rush his health study of the effects of fracking for gas in order to meet an upcoming November 29th regulatory deadline,” Ono and Lennon said in the statement.
“No legitimate, credible health study can possibly be completed by next month. Any such rush would show that the health study announcement was a political diversion to mollify the growing opposition to fracking. We applauded the governor for conducting such a study but are now quite alarmed.”
Cuomo last month indicated that the state would conduct a health impact study on hydrofracking, which has been on hold in New York since 2008. A few weeks later, the state Department of Environmental Conservation indicated it could miss a November deadline to approve regulations on hydrofracking — which would reset some of the process.
Environmental groups wanted Cuomo to hire an outside firm to conduct the health review, but Cuomo decided to do it internally. There’s no sense of how long it will take, which appears to have frustrated Ono and Lennon.
“We are also alarmed that there has been no transparency on this study. Who is conducting it and how? What experts are being consulted? There needs to be a public process and open hearings of course,” they said in the statement. “Is it examining effects on water, air, pregnant women, agriculture, psychological stress, social health such as increased traffic accidents and crime, and strain on emergency services? The public has no idea.”
Meanwhile, pro-fracking groups just walked up State Street for a rally at the Capitol, as shown above.