EU, Biden Russian energy ‘solutions’ validate Einstein’s insanity theory

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It shouldn’t have required a genius like Albert Einstein to observe that evidence of insanity is to continue making the same mistakes and expecting different outcomes.

Take, for example, self-inflicted European energy dependence on Russia which Moscow threatens to exploit over their weapons support for Ukraine against Putin’s invasion.

Germany, a dominant E.U. economic power, now depends on Russia for over half of its natural gas and a quarter of its oil imports. Europe, in general, depends on Moscow for about 40% of their gas supplies.

In hopes to slash purchases of Russian gas by two-thirds by end of this year, many European countries are scrambling to line up alternative gas supplies for next winter’s heating season … mainly from the U.S. and the Middle East, and North Africa.

Bulgaria, which gets three-quarters of its gas from Russia, has a particularly bad problem with few quick or easy options other than hoping to get some help from Turkey and Greece in a pinch.Also paradoxically, although Europe’s gas

Ironically, it isn’t as if the E.U. doesn’t have petroleum resources of their own … they have plenty. As recently as 15 years ago, their member countries produced more gas than Russia exported.

reserves are smaller than Russia’s, they may have as much technically recoverable shale gas as the U.S. which environmental groups won’t allow their governments to develop due to climate change hysteria.

In event of full shutdown, E.U. countries, industrial powerhouse Germany included, will need to ration energy and close factories.

Amid fears that Moscow will cut off Germany’s energy lifeline, Chancellor Olaf Scholz is accelerating investments in renewable energy, building liquid natural gas (LNG) import terminals, and even (gasp) ramping up coal use.

Yup, dreaded CO2-belching coal is seeing a European resurgence after consumption had fallen nearly 40% between 2010 and 2020 with a planned accelerated phaseout. The U.K had committed to turning off its coal facilities by 2024.

That trend began to rapidly shift last year with E.U. coal generation increasing 18% as natural gas shortages and a weak summer wind season pushed up electricity prices as The Wall Street Journal reported.

Adding to the European angst, this added coal dependence also comes at a time when Russia accounts for nearly half of their supply.

Meanwhile, Berlin has sabotaged itself to become even more dependent on imported Russian gas and coal by shutting down three nuclear plants in December, although three more scheduled to be mothballed this year may receive temporary reprieves.

Chancellor Scholz has also thus far also resisted agreeing to an outright Russia gas embargo to delay risks of energy Armageddon.

That could happen.

Last fall, Russia withheld deliveries to Europe from the short-term gas spot market despite a global shortage which kept the level of storage sites it controlled across the continent at low levels and helped push prices to record highs.

Making matters more ominous, whereas gas contracts are usually denominated in dollars or euros, Putin demanded last month that countries deemed hostile to Moscow pay for gas in rubles. Those who refuse, as Bulgaria and Poland have, risk a cutoff.

Objecting to this mandate, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen declared that “The request from the Russian side to pay in rubles is a unilateral decision and not according to the contracts.”

She added that “Companies with such contracts should not accede to the Russian demands. This would be a breach of the Russian sanctions.”

It should be noted, however, that cutting off European exports isn’t exactly a slam dunk win-win strategy for Putin either, depriving Russia from revenues to fund his war machine and nearly half its country’s budget.

Russia has already had trouble finding buyers for oil in recent days. Even without sanctions, European refineries are shifting away from Russian gas and crude oil, their hitherto most lucrative source of foreign earnings.

China sales can’t bail them out because Russia’s pipeline connections there are already running at full capacity, requiring years before more can be built.

Since Putin has few other places to send his gas, drilling rigs would soon have to be taken down and wells sealed, causing long-term damage to Russian gas production.

Ordinarily, this Russian energy stranglehold on Europe should provide a huge market opportunity for America.

Unfortunately, our present administration is doing its darndest to kill that prospect.

Here, we might apply a corollary of Einstein’s idiocy definition as someone who repeatedly opts for losing strategies over provably winning ones while anticipating better results.

Look no farther in this example than President Biden’s reversal of American energy independence and status as a net exporter through his war on fossil fuels.

During his first days in office, Joe inexplicably revoked a permit essential for the Keystone XL pipeline to deliver oil from Canada and empowered his agencies to slow-walk others while incredulously approving the trans-Baltic Nord Stream-2 pipeline that would make Europe even more dependent on Russian natural gas.

Most recently, just this month, the Biden administration reaffirmed support for a leasing ban on public land and imposed new permitting rules that will make it much harder to build pipelines and LNG export terminals while reversing a Trump plan to open up the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (ANWR) to more drilling.

Yes, Albert offered the only plausible explanation.

  • CFACT Advisor Larry Bell heads the graduate program in space architecture at the University of Houston. He founded and directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture. He is also the author of "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax."

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