CNN: 80 million European households may struggle to stay warm this winter amid rising energy costs
The global energy crisis is so large that CNN ran a story detailing how 80 million households in Europe may struggle to pay their heating bills as natural gas and electricity prices soar. The news network warns that massive civil unrest could follow if energy prices rise too high:
Observers are also warning of the possibility of political unrest if governments don’t take action to help households.”There could be a rise in ‘Gilet Jaunes’-type movements across Europe,” Bouzarovski said, referring to protests that rocked France in recent years.
Rising fuel prices sparked protests across Bulgaria in 2013 that brought down the government and caused smaller-scale demonstrations in 2018.
France has announced a €100 ($116) one-off payment to nearly 6 million households already receiving energy vouchers from the government. Spain has moved to slash household energy taxes and impose a levy on some energy suppliers.
The Italian government has committed up to €3 billion ($3.5 billion) to subsidize up to 5.5 million of its most vulnerable citizens, according to Reuters. The government will scrap some standing charges from consumers’ bills, which suppliers use to cover overheads related to renewable energy subsidies.
European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said earlier this month that “there are tools” EU countries can deploy to address the situation.
Of course, CNN’s proposed solution to the problem, building more wind and solar installations, will only make matters worse. CNN wrote:
Experts and campaigners have argued the European Union should legislate a ban on suppliers disconnecting households from their energy sources in the short term. But they warn that only reducing dependency on gas and introducing more renewables to the energy mix can tame price spikes in the longer term.
The problem with this way of thinking is that it assumes that natural gas is the problem when in reality, the problem is that Europe does not have enough natural gas to burn.
European nations are running short of gas because many of them have banned hydraulic fracturing, which has made the United States the largest producer of natural gas in the world. Now, many of our friends across the pond won’t be able to pay their energy bills this winter.