Hydrofracking opponents stake their ground

Among the politicians, lobbyists, local officials and press corps flooding the Empire State Plaza concourse for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s second State of the State address, several dozen anti-hydrofracking protesters are wielding signs with a message leaving little doubt who they’re targeting: “In 2014, we’ll remember.”

Another read: “Governor Cuomo, If you can’t protect NY water, you can’t become president.”

The protesters—led by Ithaca environmentalist/business owner/gadfly Walter Hang—have gathered in the concourse outside of the entrance to the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, where Cuomo will give his speech at 1:30 p.m.

But with high-volume hydrofracking already on hold in New York and no guarantees the state will be ready to issue permits in 2012, will Cuomo even touch the controversial topic?

“I have no idea,” Hang said. “He should mention it, because it’s one of the most important issues facing New York.”

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