Two years ago, the United States was energy independent for the first time in decades. The US produced huge amounts of gas and oil, and cheap energy prices led to large growth in energy-intensive businesses and lower prices for consumers for everything from eggs to cars. With the rise of the ideological Biden administration coupled with a green-focused Europe, the western world faces a very serious energy shortage—completely the result of political and ideological choices made in the name of a supposed “energy emergency.”
In California, all future cars sold will be based on anything other than gasoline; yet within a week officials told residents not to charge their electric cars due to an extreme lack of electricity in the state. This would be high comedy coming out of Hollywood if it did not mean that many people who bought into the green dream may find themselves as stuck at home as they were during the height of the Covid lockdowns. In Europe, business signs go off between 1 am and 6 am to save electricity.
Citizens are encouraged to use fans and not air conditioners. As natural gas stocks are low due to Russian actions with the Nordstream pipeline, Europeans are looking at the prospect of a very cold and miserable winter. Germany is already planning public buildings where people can go to warm up. This is from a “first world” country. The price of electricity on the continent has gone up exponentially. But why? Is there an energy shortage? Yes. Does there have to be an energy shortage? No. Macron is no more right than Malthus was, but he has the ideological support to keep energy out of the reach of citizens and truly realize his world lacking abundance.
It is by choice that the US, England and other countries that harbor large amounts of gas choose not to frack and extract it. Europe could solve its problems by generating more electricity from nuclear, which used to be the backbone of French and German power production. The US could increase gas and oil production to drive down fuel prices, guarantee enough heating oil for winter, and provide Europe the liquid natural gas it needs to make up for losses from Russia.
The Europeans could also push Ukraine to settle its war with Russia to return regular gas flows from Russia if they can’t wean themselves off of Russian gas. But in all cases, these steps are not taken—and not because of any technological limitation but solely due to ideological considerations, from the supposed climate emergency to the desire to punish Putin, even if it means Germans freezing to death in their apartments.