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      Opponents of fracking rally in Albany, urge Cuomo to ban hydraulic fracturing

      With opponents of the natural gas drilling method known as fracking heading to Albany for a rally outside the state Capitol, a new statewide poll shows a slight increase among voters against drilling.

      The Siena poll shows 44 percent of voters opposed and 37 percent supporting drilling, compared with 41-to-39 percent last month.

      Organizers say they expect thousands of people from across New York to attend Monday afternoon's rally being held in a park outside the Capitol.

      They'll be urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to take the lead on renewable energy and to permanently ban hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in New York, saying it will harm the environment.

      Energy industry officials want Cuomo to end New York's five-year moratorium on shale gas development and allow drilling in much of the state's Southern Tier. Opponents of fracking want him to make the moratorium permanent.

      Cuomo's decision is on hold while the state continues to study fracking's potential impact.