Shale gas has a new enemy beside environmental groups and politicians who are concerned about the fate of local communities. This time, however, it is a very powerful enemy, at least in Germany: brewers. They warned Berlin that unconventional gas exploration legalization in the largest economy in Europe could put in serious risk the purity of the famous German beer.
Government Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is currently drafting a legal framework, designed to strictly regulate the hydraulic fracturing process. Among its provisions, are mandatory environmental impact studies and a ban on exploration in the so-called water protection areas.
German Brewers Federation warned the executive members through an open letter, quoted by Financial Times, that until there is no risk of contamination of the water used for brewing, the government shouldn’t adopt the legislation designed to allow hydraulic fracturing.
A spokesman for the Federation said that many brewers are dependent on water extracted from private wells. "As long as hydraulic fracturing isn’t a process shown to be safe, we say to take your hands off our resources", he said, while asking further scientific research.
Even if in the U.S., the widespread adoption of hydraulic fracturing process has led to a significant reduction in the price of gas, the controversial technology is not viewed positively in Europe and will be an important theme of the election campaign in Germany in September.
Few things are more sacred in Germany than its assortment of beer, estimated to exceed a total of 5,000 types. Many brewers still comply with the law of purity of the product, which goes back hundreds of years and allows only using hops, barley, yeast and water.
However, other industries are closely following developments in the U.S. shale gas. Germany remains dependent on the expensive Russian gas and some companies fear losing competitive advantage. They also face increased costs as a result of the federal government imposition of using energy from renewable sources instead of nuclear.
Kurt Bock, CEO of BASF, the German giant of oil and gas, also operating in the chemical industries, warned in February that it would not be allowed that the "hydraulic fracturing" subject to be the next subject of panicking the public in Germany. "We have these gas reserves in Germany … But why should we invest abroad when we can create value and jobs in our country?", said the CEO of BASF.
source : http://www.energyreport.ro