Beer Brewers VS. Fracking in New York

New York is a state popularly known for their clean, tasty water –it’s that ‘special ingredient’ in their pizza dough that makes New York slices so renownd.  But it seems that this may soon come to an end, if the state’s Governor Cuomo brings fracking to New York.  The owner of the Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, N.Y., Larry Bennett, has spoken out against fracking in New York for the beer and wine industry.

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The industry employs more than 10,000 people in New York, and relies heavily on available clean water.  After all, 92% of an 8% alcohol beer is water, and this water comes from the ground below local brewers.  Bennett explains,

“As a company that’s dependent on water, we’re very cautious about our water. We pump 1 million gallons a year from three wells on our property; it’s pure when it comes up and we take care to ensure it stays that way.

We filter for any sediment and tweak the pH to levels required for our brewing. We protect our wells from contamination, while our lab oversees ongoing, intensive analysis of water quality.

Unfortunately, hydrofracking could make that care pointless.”

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Fracking involves pumping water and chemicals into the earth to break up the rock and release natural gas for fuel use.  That toxic mix of water and chemicals remains in the ground and releases unsafe radon.  These underground toxic wells can leak and put our water at risk, not to mention the devastation done to the ground, soils, and air from the burning of natural gas.  It is a ludicrous way to continue the American fossil fuel industry, under the guise of ‘energy security’.  Relying on such a dangerous, damaging, and unsustainable energy source should hardly make anyone feel ‘secure’.

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Bennett urges Cuomo not to allow fracking into the state, writing: “Cuomo has the chance to protect the beer and wine industries by banning fracking. Rather than bring in an industry that will destroy our water and ship its profits back to Texas, he should continue on the course he has set and support local industries — like ours and the other 128 breweries in New York.”  Hopefully New York and the rest of North America choose beer and wine over natural gas and toxic wells —clearly, the former is the better option.

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4 Comments on “Beer Brewers VS. Fracking in New York”

  1. sustainablee February 13, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    Reblogged this on Sustainablee and commented:
    Ban fracking to protect beer production – I’m sold!

  2. andhastings February 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    As somebody who enjoys both the beer and pizza in NYC, I find this news troubling. It’s interesting to see things like this come to light. A lot of people probably assume (wrongly) that the consequences of fracking are far removed from their everyday life, but this is proof that they’re closer than we realize.

    • utopiandreaming February 15, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

      Yes –both the pizza and the beer in NYC are to die for, and definitely worth protecting. And you’re right, people often remove themselves from the ‘environment’ in debates about the economy (fracking) vs. the environment (activists/the land). Damaging any part of our environment necessarily means damaging *ourselves* and the things that nature provides for us in our everyday lives that we take for granted. Beer doesn’t just come from a bottle in the store, for example –like everything else, it’s a product of both natural and human-made elements, and its production requires a healthy environment, not just a working factory and thriving industry.

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