Europe’s Anti-Fossil Fuel Policies Risk Leaving Continent in the Dark

Europe’s Anti-Fossil Fuel Policies Risk Leaving Continent in the Dark

January 4, 2022

Europeans are beginning 2022 in a bad place, thanks to energy policies that have hurried a transition to less reliable energy sources like solar and wind. The continent is now facing a self-made energy crisis at a time when Europeans will be especially dependent on fossil fuels like natural gas to heat their homes. Bloomberg reports: 

The retired salt caverns, aquifers, and fuel depots that hold Europe’s stockpiles of natural gas have never been so empty at this point in winter.

Just four months after Amos Hochstein, the U.S. envoy for energy security, said Europe wasn’t doing enough to prepare for the dark and cold season ahead, the continent is grappling with a supply crunch that’s caused benchmark gas prices to more than quadruple from last year’s levels, squeezing businesses and households. The crisis has left the European Union at the mercy of the weather and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s wiles, both notoriously difficult to predict.

The lack of homegrown sources of reliable natural gas has left Europe in this situation, and is another example of how policies like the Green New Deal are utterly divorced from the real world problems facing working class people.  Environmental activists and their allied policymakers may celebrate when they impose policies that punish fossil fuels, but the working class is left to wonder if there will be enough fuel to heat their home, and whether they’ll be able to afford it. That was clear last summer, according to Bloomberg:

On July 14, the European Commission unveiled the world’s most ambitious package to eliminate fossil fuels in a bid to avert the worst consequences of climate change. With their eyes trained on longer-term goals, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions at least 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels, the politicians did not sufficiently appreciate some of the potential pitfalls that lay immediately ahead on the road to decarbonization. 

Americans should be aware and concerned about what is transpiring in Europe because many activists and policymakers here in the United States want to follow Europe’s pathway to energy scarcity. As Power the Future has previously noted, the Biden administration and Democrats in Washington have been pushing for tens of billions of dollars in new funding to prop up unreliable renewables like wind and solar and steer our country abruptly away from reliable fossil fuels.

For Americans wondering how that would go – look to Europe. It is a cold, dark and expensive road that will especially hurt those who can least afford it.