Not heeding President Donald Trump’s warning that relying on Russia for energy was foolhardy to both economy and security, former chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel has come under fire from within her own country as Germany’s economic and climate minister accused her and her party of “16 years of energy policy failure.”
Robert Habeck, Vice Chancellor of Germany and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, called out his political rivals in the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Merkel’s party, for abandoning domestic fossil fuel production in favor of ‘green’ energy and gas exports from Russia. Given the ongoing crisis in that region and decisions made by Vladimir Putin to punish those who have sanctioned Russia, Germany has been essentially cut off from the Russian gas supply, stoking fear that people will not be able to heat their homes in the winter.
Habeck’s lashing out at Merkel and her cronies appears to be in retaliation for criticisms made against him regarding his handling of Germany’s nuclear power plants, all of which are scheduled to be decommissioned at the end of the year. Many of the attacks on Habeck have come from the CDU, so Habeck wasted no time in throwing the attacks back at the opposition, blaming them for the current energy crisis:
“[T]he [Christian Democratic] Union has ruled this country and many federal states for 16 years. Sixteen years of energy policy failure…And in a few months we will clean up what you screwed up, prevented and destroyed in 16 years,” Habeck said as reported by Breitbart.
Trump tried to warn Germany. But Merkel didn’t listen. https://t.co/O68yeWhrjc
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 12, 2022
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But Habeck is an environmental activist, a member of the Green party, and is not a fan of traditional sources of energy. He has propped up liquified natural gas, also known as LNG, as Germany’s solution to the energy crisis; however, the country does not have the infrastructure to support this form of energy, and now it does not have enough of it to go around. His and his party’s insistence on phasing out the cleanest form of energy, nuclear energy, has also been criticized as contributing to the energy crisis as ideology has taken over from practical common sense solutions.
Energy ‘authorities’ including Habeck have dangled the idea of keeping a handful of nuclear power plants active during the winter months to mitigate the sting of a lack of gas. However, energy experts call this ‘pie in the sky’ plan not feasible, as nuclear power plants can take several days to power up.
A letter to German government officials from an energy expert reads: “Sending two of the three running systems to the cold reserve at the turn of the year in order to start them up if necessary is technically not feasible and therefore unsuitable for securing the supply contribution of the systems.”
The shaky coalition of Social Democrats, Free Democrats, and Greens, aka the ‘traffic light coalition’ has lost its luster among the German public who have grown weary of their lack of success in resolving the ongoing energy crisis that is edging closer to full-blown economic recession.
But Trump being right doesn’t help Germany now, and it remains to be seen how the powers-that-be resolve the energy crisis that will set in even further as we approach the colder months.