Europe Facing a Long, Expensive Winter Reliant on Expensive, Russian Natural Gas

Europe Facing a Long, Expensive Winter Reliant on Expensive, Russian Natural Gas

October 27, 2021

After two decades of environmentalist-led energy policies, Europe is headed into this winter in the worst possible shape. With short supplies of natural gas, the continent is going to have to pay record-high rates for its energy – and will be largely reliant on its geopolitical foe of Russia. Today’s Wall Street Journal reports:

Europe’s hopes for major increases in gas supplies from other sources, from Central Asia to shale gas trapped in European rock formations, have fallen short. Production in the EU itself has tumbled, led by the rapid shutdown of the huge Groningen field in the Netherlands. Ninety percent of gas consumed in the bloc comes from outside its borders, nearly half of it from Russia.

This predicament is entirely self-inflicted, and the United States runs the risk of it happening here if we follow Europe down the same path. As PTF wrote earlier this month:

When the Biden administration and their radical environmentalist allies attempt to roll back U.S. development of reliable energy sources such as natural gas, it strengthens the hands of nations like Russia and China. Europe, which has unwisely accelerated its reliance on energy sources like solar and wind, now finds itself dependent on Russia in order to get through cold winters. Russia’s dominance of the energy marketplace also increases its geopolitical power, as the Wall Street Journal explains:

Russia’s expanding energy influence gives the Kremlin important geopolitical leverage amid worsening relations with the West and a way to challenge Washington’s clout. It also provides Moscow with an important source of revenue to address stagnating living conditions at home.

Given its current situation, one would hope that European leaders would have learned something about the continued importance of fossil fuels, and maintaining safe supplies. Unfortunately, many have not. The Wall Street Journal also reports:

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said last week that the bloc should diversify suppliers as well as speed up its transition to cleaner energy. “Europe is today too reliant on gas, it is too dependent on gas imports,” she said. “This makes us vulnerable.”

Europe’s problem is not that it’s become too reliant on natural gas; it’s that it has turned its back on the most reliable, available and affordable source of power generation in natural gas. Doubling down on so-called green energy is going to leave Europeans with more cold nights ahead.