US Breweries go to War against Fracking Industry

By Joao Peixe | Tue, 05 February 2013 22:56 | 7

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US brewers have now taken up their case against fracking, worried that any potential contamination of ground water supplies would ruin their business. The process of brewing beer requires clean water, with many breweries being built at the sites they are specifically for the mineral composition of the water.

Simon Thorpe, the CEO of the Ommegang Brewery explained to NBC that “it’s all about the quality of the water. The technology surrounding fracking is still not fully developed. Accidents are happening. Places are getting polluted.” His brewery was built in Cooperstown, NY, due to the ready access to fresh water, but “if that water supply is threatened by pollution, it makes it very difficult for us to produce world-class beer here.”

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Simon is worried as local landowners are trying to sell leases of their land to companies for the exploration and extraction of natural gas. Jennifer Huntington, a dairy farmer in the area assured that they are only offering such leases due to their confidence of the safe nature of fracking. “We all love this area, none of us want to see it ruined,” she said.

Purification equipment at the Ommegang Brewery can filter sediment from the water, and alter the pH levels, but it cannot remove some of the chemicals that could potentially enter the water table via fracking, such as benzene, methane, and possibly diesel. If any such chemicals do enter the water supply then the brewery will have to import its water from elsewhere, or close the brewery completely.

Brooklyn Brewery, also in the state of NY, is equally worried and asks for state authorities to protect their water supply.

By. Joao Peixe of

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