With only weeks to go until Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Feb. 27 deadline to decide the fate of hydraulic fracturing in New York state, the anti-fracking community is stepping up its game.
I reported last week from Binghamton, where activists launched a new campaign and asked to meet with Cuomo -- suggesting he'd already obliged for natural gas companies and warning him that opposition to the industry is mounting.
"On one side is the gas companies -- big, big companies -- on the other side there is people," says Ono. "But people are eventually going to win, because people are eventually going to keep on increasing their knowledge, whereas the gas company has to keep on increasing their lies. And that's the big difference."
She includes a familiar request for Cuomo: "Please meet us."
Ono, fellow artists, and journalists (myself included) got a first-hand look last month at what may be at stake with Cuomo's looming decision. The video chronicles our bus tour of northeastern Pennsylvania, a region that's already accrued years of experience with natural gas operations.
Of course, New York is not the only state contemplating whether or not to tap into its large volumes of shale gas -- nor is the U.S. the only country on the verge of such a monumental choice. "It would be so incredible if we can do something in the state of New York," says Ono in the video. "That might just create a precedent."
People in favor of expanding natural gas production have shared with me their frustrations with anti-fracking activists, who they say are using "radical scare tactics" to thwart what could be a welcome boon for the country, as well as for struggling families and small businesses.