As natural gas shortages and skyrocketing prices harm Europe, those most responsible for the crisis—those who oppose the production and transport of natural gas—are shifting the blame from themselves by claiming that the situation is “complex.” But it’s not. It’s simple: if it hadn’t been for major global restrictions on the production and transport of natural gas, natural gas supply could meet demand. The talking points below provide clear documentation of how Europe has destroyed much of its ability to supply itself with natural gas. They should help those of us in the US to use Europe as a cautionary tale against the current anti-fossil fuel agenda.
As you see stories of skyrocketing natural gas prices in Europe, and increasing dependence on Russia, know that all of this was totally preventable had so many European countries not foolishly banned the greatest natural gas producing technology ever invented: fracking.
Foolish fracking ban 1: France
Gas-dependent France has banned fracking for natural gas since 2011. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/20/france-bans-fracking-and-oil-extraction-in-all-of-its-territories
Foolish fracking ban 2: Bulgaria
Gas-dependent Bulgaria has banned fracking for natural gas since 2012. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-16626580
Foolish fracking ban 3: The Netherlands
The gas-dependent Netherlands has effectively banned fracking for natural gas since 2015.
Foolish fracking ban 4: Germany
Gas-dependent Germany has banned fracking for natural gas since 2017.
Foolish fracking ban 5: Ireland
Gas-dependent Ireland has banned fracking for natural gas since 2017.
Foolish fracking ban 6: The UK
The gas-dependent UK has banned fracking for natural gas via a moratorium since 2019.
Foolish fracking ban 7: Spain
Earlier this year, gas-dependent Spain joined other European nations in foolishly banning fracking for natural gas, as well.
All the European nations that banned fracking are still 100% dependent on natural gas to survive. In fact they are even more dependent than they used to be because their use of intermittent solar and wind requires the unique flexible backup that natural gas can provide.
Like President Biden in the US with his fracking ban on Federal lands, European leaders thought that if they banned their ability to frack natural gas they would somehow stop needing to use natural gas. But the need has not gone away--and now they are even more at Russia's mercy.
While the alleged justification of fracking bans was the desire to reduce CO2 emissions, this never made any sense because a) natural gas use is the fastest near-term way of reducing emissions and b) European nations also oppose non-carbon nuclear.
What should European nations do about their self-inflicted suffering? One, they should immediately reverse their deadly fracking bans. Two, those who have championed fracking bans should apologize and promise to radically cut their own natural gas use.
Instead of meaningless gestures like "Earth Hour," the European anti-fracking movement, along with the American anti-fracking movement, should celebrate "Earth Winter"--keep their thermostat to 60°F or less so that the deserving can have affordable gas.
Share the Twitter thread of these talking points.
Share my recent interview on Sky News Australia about Europe’s self-inflicted natural gas crisis.
When you communicate about the natural gas crisis, stress the following basic point. Don’t let false “complexity” arguments allow green energy policies to avoid blame.