Conflict & Justice

The Association of German Brewers Says 'Nein!' to Fracking


German Chancellor Angela Merkel drinks a mug of beer during the opening of the Oktoberfest in Berlin, September 12, 2012. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch (GERMANY - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY) - RTR37W3Z



Hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking," has no shortage of opponents. Much of that opposition relates to the vast quantities of water (not to mention sand and chemicals) that need to be injected below ground in order to release previously untapped natural gas deposits.

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Politicians in Brussels are pushing EU countries, including Germany, to explore fracking as a way to ease reliance on outside sources of oil and gas. But inside Germany, the method is raising serious questions. The government is currently debating how to regulate it.

And now, there is a powerful new opponent to fracking: Germany's beer brewers.

The Brewers Union recently stated that fracking may disrupt the water supply to such as extent that the country's beer Purity Law might be violated. The law dates back to 1516, and is designed to ensure that German beer is kept simple, and pure. The Union's website makes their position clear: "Beer is pure. Beer is enjoyment. Beer is Germany."

The German beer industry employs more than 25,000 people, and Germans, including Chancellor Angela Merkel (pictured above), do enjoy their brew. Germans drink more than two trillion billion liters of beer a year. And with an election coming up in September, you can bet that German politicians will probably be more likely to listen to local voters (and beer drinkers), instead of EU politicians in Brussels.