For years, Europe has depended on Russia for more than 40 percent of its natural gas imports as well as a large portion of its oil and solid fuels. Now that Russia is embroiled in war and facing sanctions from multiple nations, it has tightened its supply to the European Union. As a result, Europeans are struggling with an energy crisis that is forcing millions to dim their lights and ration hot water.
One Washington Post article soberly announced, “Europe braces for gas ‘nightmare’ as pipeline from Russia shuts off,” after news that the Nord Stream 1 pipeline carrying natural gas was scheduled to undergo days of maintenance that would halt an already slowing flow of energy to Germany.
Even after the pipeline restarted, the government was forced to devote 15 billion euros to bail out Uniper, a German energy company, which has received only “a fraction of its contracted gas volumes” from Russia since the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s war with Ukraine.
Former President Donald Trump predicted this energy power struggle in September 2018 in his speech at the U.N. General Assembly.
“Germany will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course. Here in the Western Hemisphere, we are committed to maintaining our independence from the encroachment of expansionist foreign powers,” Trump boasted.
Trump made similar remarks during a NATO summit earlier that same year. “Germany, as far as I’m concerned, is captive to Russia because it’s getting so much of its energy from Russia,” Trump told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “We have to talk about the billions and billions of dollars that’s being paid to the country we’re supposed to be protecting you against.”
Despite the truth in his words, the corporate media wrote off Trump’s warning as a knee-jerk reaction and aversion to green energy. “Fact-checkers” at CNBC claimed, “Trump is exaggerating Germany’s reliance on Russia for energy.”
Shortly after Trump’s U.N. remarks, the Washington Post published an article headlined, “Trump accused Germany of becoming ‘totally dependent’ on Russian energy at the U.N. The Germans just smirked.”
The article detailed how Trump “lashed out at Germany over its gas imports from Russia” but noted that “Trump’s attacks” had no sway on the German government.
“After his July remarks, Merkel responded that she may be in a better position to judge her country’s dependence than the current U.S. president,” WaPo reported.
Ever since then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel forced her nation to close down all its nuclear power plants after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, Germany has not only “created the highest global electricity prices per household in the world,” as noted by Federalist Senior Editor David Harsanyi, but it has also significantly increased its dependence on Russia for energy. This energy flow from Russia is especially needful when the nation’s other green power initiatives such as solar and wind fail to meet demand.
Now Germany, Austria, Italy, and the Netherlands are looking “to resurrect old coal plants” to remedy what has become a problem that could stretch into the imminent cold winter. The Germans aren’t smirking anymore.