Editor’s Commentary: Let’s set aside, for the moment, that President Donald Trump was 100% correct when he warned European nations not to rely on Russia for their energy needs. It is coming back to haunt them in the most vicious way at a time when people across the continent are desperate for energy to survive.
This is going to spill over dramatically to the rest of the world, including the United States. With energy depleted, production stops. Farming, manufacturing, and many other crucial activities will be so hampered by this development in the not-too-long-term that we must expect prices to continue to rise dramatically. This is extremely bad news for everyone, including us.
And before we all jump on the Biden-Harris regime’s “Blame Putin” bandwagon, we should remember that it was the United States and European leaders who set crushing sanctions against Russia for the sake of hitting back against their regional conflict in Ukraine. These sanctions have done absolutely nothing to dissuade Russia from continuing their invasion but have decimated our economies to the point that it could take a generation for us to recover if we’re able to recover at all. I’m not a Putin apologist. I’m just not a fan of cutting off our nose to spite our face. Here are the details reported by Naveen Athrappully from our premium news partners at The Epoch Times:
ussian state-owned energy corporation Gazprom has scrapped plans to restart gas flows through its Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany, offering no answers as to when operations would resume back to normal.
On Aug. 19, Gazprom announced that it would stop gas flows through the pipeline between Aug. 31 and Sept. 2 due to routine maintenance. On Aug. 31, the company said that the temporary shutdown will only last for three days. Normal operations were due to resume at 0100 GMT on Saturday. But on Friday, Gazprom said that it could not safely restart gas deliveries as an oil leak in a critical turbine was not yet fixed. It is unknown when gas supplies would be resumed.
Gazprom’s claims were countered by Siemens Energy, which usually services the turbines on Nord Stream 1. “Such leaks do not normally affect the operation of a turbine and can be sealed on site. It is a routine procedure within the scope of maintenance work,” the company said, according to Reuters.
Siemens also said that the station where the leak was discovered has other turbines that should help Nord Stream 1 to continue operating. The company is currently not contracted to conduct maintenance work on the pipeline but is on standby if the need arises.
“Gazprom’s announcement this afternoon that it is once again shutting down NorthStream1 under fallacious pretenses is another confirmation of its unreliability as a supplier. It’s also proof of Russia’s cynicism, as it prefers to flare gas instead of honoring contracts,” European Commission spokesperson Eric Mamer said in a Sept. 2 post on Twitter.
Germany’s Over-Reliance on Russian Gas
During a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in Sept. 2018, former President Donald Trump had warned about Germany’s dependence on Russian energy.
“Reliance on a single foreign supplier can leave a nation vulnerable to extortion and intimidation,” Trump said. At the time, many German officials had dismissed the warning.
Heiko Mass, a member of the left-wing Social Democratic Party of Germany who was in the German delegation at the time, was reportedly laughing and shaking his head at Trump’s comments. Four years later, the former president’s warning has proven to be correct.
Roughly 27 percent of Germany’s overall energy mix is accounted for by natural gas. Prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than 55 percent of German gas consumption was sourced from Russia.
On Aug. 29, gas prices in Germany broke through the $1,000 per megawatt-hour level for the first time ever. Chancellor Olof Scholz has announced plans to cut down the value-added tax on natural gas from 19 percent to 7 percent.
According to an IMF estimate made in July, a complete shutdown of remaining Russian gas supplies would trigger a 3 percent decline in German GDP next year and increase inflation significantly.
Berlin has committed to cut down gas consumption by 15 percent between Aug. 2022 and March 2023 to deal with rising gas prices and supply shortages.