Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces in 2022, the European Union has sanctioned the invader repeatedly, as punishment, triggering an energy crisis that reportedly has Europe chanting “Drill Baby Drill,” to avoid financial pain at the pump.
This smack of reality is causing countries to reevaluate their green energy policies and, in some cases, drill for oil again.
The energy squeeze has had a lasting impact on many local economies with potential increases leading to blackouts, and leaving lower-income households vulnerable, as they are unable to pay for their increasing energy bills.
Despite the drastic need for more energy resources, however, activists have pushed back against government initiatives aimed at easing the crisis.
“In principle, we need to get rid of all the fossil fuels, and we need to get rid of them very fast,” said Han Dolman, director of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, who opposes the Schiermonnikoog project, per CNN Business. “It’s not an immediate solution to anything [related to] the Russian gas crisis.”
Recently, the German and Dutch governments greenlit a natural gas project on the island of Schiermonnikoog, to compensate for energy deficits generated from the cutting off of Russian energy from pipelines like Nordstream 2.
Russian oil company Gazprom, recently announced a reduction in oil flow to 20 percent of daily capacity, forcing the EU to adopt a resolution last week setting a voluntary target to reduce gas usage by 15 percent through March 2023.
The gas project will start producing for Dutch households in 2024 and has licenses to keep the plant operational until 2042.
Even with the influx in funding to oil and gas drilling projects throughout the EU, the continent is expecting a “long, hard winter,” according to Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency.
While Europe attempts to fill in the energy gap created by their own sanctions on Russia, the situation is reminiscent of former President Donald Trump’s warnings in 2018 about giving Europe preferential treatment.
“We’re protecting Germany, we’re protecting France, we’re protecting all of these countries. And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia,” he said. “So we’re supposed to protect you against Russia and you pay billions of dollars to Russia and I think that’s very inappropriate.”
“Germany is totally controlled by Russia, cause they are getting 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline,” Trump added.
Perhaps if the Europeans had taken Trump’s advice and diversified their energy resources by including America more, the Union wouldn’t be facing a long, hard winter where many of its citizens will be in the dark — in more ways than one.
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