While the main focus of the President's visit will be education, some groups got an early start with trying to bring his attention to a much debated issue. YNN's Sarah Blazonis tells us how anti-fracking activists are gearing up for what they say is an important opportunity.
NEW YORK STATE -- Dinosaur Barbecue is one spot that's been suggested as a possible unscheduled stop for President Obama. But when it comes to the Pennsylvania leg of his trip, Ray Kemble knows where he'd like to see the Commander-in-Chief make a detour: His home in Dimock.
Kemble said, "I want him to see what it's like to live in a gas field with your water like this, a rig across the street, 500 feet from your front door, with the noise level, the dirt level."
Kemble joined anti-fracking groups in Binghamton and Syracuse Wednesday. Their goal? Get the President to make the EPA reopen an investigation into water contamination in Dimock they say is caused by fracking. They also want to see water deliveries reinstated to people on affected properties.
"He hasn't seen what these people are dealing with and that's happening in multiple states across the country right now," said Wes Gillingham of Catskill Mountainkeeper.
The fracking debate is nothing new for New York. Groups have worked for years to get a statewide ban in place and say support is growing.
"We have delivered over 300,000 petitions to Governor Cuomo for a statewide ban on fracking. We have hundreds of towns or municipalities who have passed a ban or moratorium on fracking," said Renee Vogelsang of Frack Action.
But they say a presidential visit presents a unique opportunity.
"At every stop, there's going to be anti-fracking folks along the way to greet President Obama. So this whole trip, he's really going to see how strong the anti-fracking community is," said Alex Beauchamp of Food and Water Watch.
The other side of the debate will also be present, with fracking advocates organizing their own rallies.
Both sides agree this is an issue spreading beyond New York and one the President can't ignore for long.
The President's Upstate visit coincides with a national day of action for the anti-fracking movement. More than 200 groups are expected to gather in Washington, D.C. on Thursday to call for a fracking ban on federal lands.