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Fracking foes target Cuomo visit


Gubernatorial candidate to campaign in Ithaca, Montour Falls Thursday

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is scheduled to visit Tompkins County on Thursday as part of a statewide tour to support his campaign for governor.

The Democrat will be appearing at the Women's Community Building, at 100 W. Seneca St. in Ithaca, at 11 a.m. before moving on to Montour Falls for a 12:30 p.m. visit to Montour House.

He will likely be greeted by local anti-gas drilling activists, who are organizing a rally outside of the building starting at 10:15 a.m.

Walter Hang, president of Toxics Targeting, led a gathering of dozens of hydrofracturing opponents during a Cuomo campaign stop in Binghamton earlier this month, and he hopes an even larger crowd will assemble in Ithaca this week.

"Andrew Cuomo needs our votes to get elected governor, but he has taken a pro Marcellus Shale horizontal hydrofracking position that is shockingly weak on environmental and public health protection," Hang said. "He must be hounded into supporting withdrawal of the draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (dSGEIS)."

At a Binghamton press conference Aug. 4, Cuomo told reporters he believes gas drilling can be practiced safely, but said the state shouldn't move forward until it "knows all of the facts." He said he agrees with the concept of a moratorium and added, "This state needs jobs desperately, and getting jobs back to the state, getting the economy running, is very, very important. At the same time, we want to make sure that whatever we do we do it safely, we do it efficiently, we do it effectively."

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