More than 80 Central New Yorkers going to anti-hydrofracking protest in Albany

A group of more than 500 people will rally against hydrofracking outside Governor Cuomo's State of the State Address in Albany Wednesday.

Included in the group are at least 80 Central New Yorkers who are traveling to Albany for the demonstration, including Ursula Rozum, of the Syracuse Peace Council and Alliance for a Green Economy, who has helped organize the Central New York caravan heading to Albany.

Hundreds of landowners and business people have also turned out to voice their support for natural gas development, walking through the concourse carrying "Friends of Natural Gas NY" placards.

Governor Cuomo is not expected to discuss hydrofracking. The topics he's expected to cover include Superstorm Sandy relief and gun control.

Cuomo has said his health and environmental agencies will decide by the end of February whether to open up the state to gas drillers, but he has not said yet if the thinks that's a good idea.

Cuomo is weighing whether to allow shale gas drilling using high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as state regulators near completion of a 4-1/2-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.

Some celebrity speakers will be at the protest including singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant, actress Debra Winger, and folk singer Pete Seeger.

The deadline for comments on the state's proposed hydrofracking regulations is Friday.

(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)