With winter coming up, in terms of budgetary implications, Russia made a strategic, but devastating, move on the 25th. Russia's state-owned gas firm Gazprom announced that it will cut the flow of gas carried by Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany by half. It's now only 20% of their capacity, and places Germany in a bind.
This reduction in production of natural gas is a result of the Russian reaction against Western sanctions. The Russian attitude of requiring Europe to meet their energy requirements without involvement isn't just difficult; however, it has caused President Biden many ill-conceived concepts. One of them is to go into the US strategic reserve to provide Europe with gas and oil to help with the Russian cutting of their supplies.
A reduction in usage of gas like this tests the determination for those in the European Union and forces the EU members to reduce their consumption of gas to ensure they have plenty of gas to use during winter. Ministers of energy from across the Union have agreed that a cut of 15% between August and March could suffice to see it through.
To withstand a decline in production like this without raising rates for the customers of their clients to an extent that makes them financially incapable of acquiring other necessities to survive will require some extreme conservation on the customer's end. As a result, they are also considering increasing production at their nuclear power plants.
It's fascinating to see the speed at which President Biden has come up with a plan to help his fellow citizens of the European Union with their dependency on Russia. However, he still says that he can't take any action regarding the US oil and gas supply. It is true that the federal government can't assist us in our current situation but we can assist other nations. In fact, this only reinforces the belief that he is deliberately crippling our economy on every level.
Following the Russian invasion in February of this year, Germany started doing their part by abandoning intentions for Nord Stream 2. The pipeline was said to be solely intended for commercial use, however the US had a disagreement in a debate with German authorities that this would only boost their dependency upon Russian fuels. Through all the debate between the two sides, the US determined that it was possible to proceed with no US restrictions but decided to scrap it.
An unidentified National Security Council spokesperson recently identified the Russian strategy “to use natural gas as a political and economic weapon.” With their long history of slamming at people, this was not surprising to anyone. Particularly in light of Western sanctions being put on Russia.
“Russia's power coercion in energy markets has placed the energy markets under pressure as well as pushed prices up for consumers, and posed a threat to the security of energy in the world. These actions highlight the significance of the work the United States and the European Commission are undertaking to reduce dependence on Russian energy sources. We will continue to work alongside the United States and our European partners to reduce our dependence on Russian energy and to support the efforts of these partners to prevent the possibility of further Russian instability of the energy market.”
In light of the economic circumstances in Europe due to sanctions, people are spending a lot more than in previous years. This has also served as a lesson on how to avoid making mistakes. Dependence on a single nation for all of your needs is not just a bad plan, but it can also set you up for failure because you are in their hands. Other nations such as Canada might be able to help too, but it's been mostly crickets with the US acting as an international role as a savior. To the detriment of their own people, once again.