Tag Archives: fracking

The Strongest Argument against Fracking

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Again it is Germany who will save the world! Again Germany is there when the rest of the world goes wrong. And…. they are right! Here it is: The Strongest Argument against Fracking:

Purity Concerns

BierWell, I do not drink beer but if beer is contaminated then the rest of our foot also will.

The fight over fracking in Germany has taken an unexpected turn: German breweries are now warning that the controversial method of extracting natural gas from rock layers deep in the earth would affect their ability to brew the best beer.

The process threatens to contaminate drinking water, according to a letter written by the German Brewers Federation to the federal government. Regulations controlling the brewing of beer in Germany date back to the beer purity law, or Reinheitsgebot, of 1516 — the world’s first food purity law. According to the Brewers Federation, German beer still may only be made from malt, hops, yeast and water.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition has drafted regulations for fracking, but the brewers say their proposed laws don’t go far enough.

Dependence on Clean Water

In the letter, which was sent to six federal ministers, the brewers said: “The legal changes planned by the federal government to date are not sufficient to guarantee the security of drinking water supplies and to take into account the requirements of the Reinheitsgebot.”
The letter goes on to argue that the brewing industry is dependent on high-quality drinking water, and that fracking could reduce or even completely eliminate the security of the water supply. The federation calls on the government to continue debate on the issue before reaching a final decision.

Attempts at introducing legislation on fracking in Berlin have been postponed several times. In mid-May, Merkel’s cabinet agreed on a proposal to ban fracking in catchment areas for lakes, such as Lake Constance in southern Germany, that are drinking water sources. But several areas would be exempt from the ban.

Berlin wants to develop a law that would define the conditions under which the technology could be used in Germany. The fracking procedure is used to release shale gas from stone deposits deep in the earth. The process is controversial because, among other reasons, it involves the use of chemicals that could contaminate the water supply.

Meanwhile, at a summit in Brussels on Wednesday, European leaders discussed the future of shale gas and fracking on the continent. British Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters that Europe “mustn’t be left behind in the global race. Europe has 75 percent of the United States’ shale resources, but America is drilling 100 times faster than Europe.”

So far, there has been no agreement in the EU on how shale gas should be exploited. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said Europe should pursue all energy resources, but it is up to the individual countries how to do this.

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Promises To Keep

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TwoRowLogoNearly 400 years ago the early European colonists who settled in the wilderness territory of what has now become upstate New York negotiated for peace with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, a league of indigenous Native American nations more commonly known as the Iroquois. The result was the first of many treaties between the two peoples establishing an agreement of sovereignty and peace. It was codified on paper by the American settlers at the time and recorded by the Indians as was their custom in wampum, a two-row pattern, ceremonial bead-work belt, a commemoration of the treaty settlement. The terms of the treaty were repeatedly violated by the white man, of course as they have with nearly all other treaties they signed with the Indians. The Native tribes however kept sacred the wampum which was their record of their contract with the white man and passed the historical artifact down through centuries, generation after generation.

 On March 12th, 2013 more than 350 people filled the halls of the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City for the launch of the Two-Row Wampum Renewal Campaign. In what some would call a largely symbolic action, the event featured Onondaga Nation lawyer Tonya Gonella Frichner, Syracuse peace-activist Andy Mager, legendary folk-singer Pete Seeger, and Onondaga faith-keeper and long-time Indian-rights leader Oren Lyons, who exhibited the original treaty wampum handed down through time to serve as proof of the age-old agreements. “You write your records, and when you lose them, you come back to us and we’ll have the belt,” Lyons said. “This belt is a covenant between two peoples… and if your leaders want to ignore it, you can’t.” Onondaga Chief Jake Edwards said the treaties should have been honored 400 years ago: “Our environment wouldn’t be in the bad shape it is if we paid attention to the original agreements.”

 The purpose of the campaign is to call attention to the popular protest against hydro-fracking, the controversial method for extracting natural gas from rock strata, deep underground using a high-pressure injection of a variety of dangerous chemicals known to cause cancer. Widely believed to be responsible for the contamination of ground-water, the future of the technology is under consideration by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is expected to decide whether to permit fracking in New York’s Southern Tier, a region in the Onondaga’s traditional homeland and close to their reservation near Syracuse. “If there’s the possibility of you, me, or anyone else contaminating one drop of water, then we’re doing wrong,” Edwards said. “Don’t hydro-frack. Its a no-brainer.” Whether or not the campaign will motivate widespread protest to stop the petro-chemical companies from contaminating the aquifers of upstate New York, the action is hoped to influence the decision of the Governor to a positive outcome for both Natives and New York residents alike.

 (c) March 30th, 2013 – Bethany Ariel Frasier

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