What's the Latest Development?
The German Brewers Foundation has written a formal letter to its national government, and Chancellor Angela Merkel, in opposition to the fracking industry, stating that the practice would contaminate the groundwater brewers use to make beer. "In a letter, the organization argued that this newfangled way of extracting energy would conflict with Europe's oldest food purity law, the Reinheitsgebot of 1516, which stated, 'We wish to emphasize that in future in all cities, markets and in the country, the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be barley, hops and water.'"
What's the Big Idea?
While Europe is known to have nearly as much exploitable natural gas as the United States, its countries are far behind the curve set by American companies. France's environmental minister, for example, has banned natural gas drilling, fearing the impact it might have on food supplies. "But it's not just outraged brewmasters and environmentalists holding up Europe's foray into fracking: costs are higher in Europe, regulations are stiffer, and the infrastructure of pipelines isn't as well-developed. Many European countries are also far more densely populated than much of the U.S., which exacerbates concerns over potential methane leaks or earth tremors."
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