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Yoko Ono discusses the PBS series "Lennon NYC" during the PBS Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Yoko Ono’s anti-fracking group takes aim at NY governor

An anti-fracking coalition started by Yoko Ono and her son Sean Lennon aims to mobilize artists, musicians and filmmakers to halt fracking plans in the state of New York.

The coalition, Artists Against Fracking, is comprised of more than 180 members including notable celebrities like Lady Gaga, Liv Tyler, Alec Baldwin, Uma Thurman and former Beatle Ringo Starr.

“What distinguishes us is that we have the ear of our audiences and we have a collective presence,” Lennon told The New York Times.

AAF is targeting New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in its campaign against hydraulic fracturing in that state, prompting those who visit their website to contact Cuomo and voice their opinions against fracking in the state.

“Natural gas has been sold as clean energy,” Lennon wrote in a New York Times op-ed. “Don’t be fooled. Fracking for shale gas is in truth dirty energy. It inevitably leaks toxic chemicals into the air and water.”

Fracking operations pump a water, sand and chemical mixture into underground shale rock formations at high pressure, which cracks the shale and releases natural gas and petroleum.

Cuomo is expected to allow limited drilling operations to begin near the Pennsylvania border, The Associated Press reports.

Ono said she’s been supporting anti-fracking efforts for two years and wants the state to become “an ecologically beautiful model state” by rejecting fossil fuel and by adopting renewable energy.

However, efforts to ban fracking in oil and gas rich states are a difficult sell in a sluggish economy with high unemployment.

For example, fracking in New York’s neighbor, Pennsylvania, supported 140,000 jobs and added $11 billion to the state economy in 2010. Local governments and the state government also raised $1.1 billion in tax revenue from fracking in Marcellus Shale.

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