ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- More than a thousand protesters chanting "Ban Fracking Now!" are lining downtown Albany's Empire State Plaza concourse where lawmakers pass on their way to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State speech.
The protesters vastly outnumber landowners and business people who have also turned out to voice their support for natural gas development, walking through the concourse carrying "Friends of Natural Gas NY" placards.
Cuomo is weighing whether to allow shale gas drilling using high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as state regulators near completion of a 4 ½-year environmental review. A Cuomo aide told an Albany radio station Wednesday morning that Cuomo won't specifically address fracking in his speech but will discuss broader energy issues.
Among the anti-fracking protesters in Albany are folk singer Pete Seeger and singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant.