When more than 1,000 people marched in the streets of downtown Albany to protest hydraulic fracturing on Monday, they left little doubt whom they were targeting: Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The governor is expected to soon lift a moratorium and permit limited drilling in the Marcellus shale, if local communities agree.
Cuomo's pending decision marks the end of an extensive regulatory and environmental review of the controversial technique.
That review has extended for more than four years and has pitted environmentalists against the industry, which says gas drilling could provide an economic boost to the state’s struggling Southern Tier.
The march was organized by several groups that are calling for a statewide hydrofracking ban.
The Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York, an industry trade group, called for drilling to be allowed.