Luxembourg Suggests Driving Bans and Working at Home to Combat Energy Crisis

The attempt to try and isolate Russia because of the war in Ukraine has resulted in an energy crisis in Europe. Many of the countries in the European Union (EU) have been heavily reliant on Putin’s energy exports of oil and natural gas. By losing access to those commodities, the EU is struggling to meet its energy needs. There has been a move to renewable energies over the past decade, but wind and solar are unreliable on their own.

Luxembourg Energy Minister Claude Turmes recently put forth a solution for the problem. Namely driving bans, working at home two days a week, and foregoing non-essential travel. This is typical bureaucratic utopian thinking. Although these types of measures will reduce consumption by some amount, it is not enough to replace the loss of Russian energy.

Conservation and green energy policies are what got the EU into this situation in the first place. Doubling down on more of the same will make the problem worse, not better. Green energy strategies must be supplemented by fossil fuels. The technology is just not there to completely transition off traditional forms of energy.

What the EU, and the United States for that matter, should be doing is trying to increase domestic fossil fuel production. Failure to do so will only exacerbate the current energy crisis. Not being energy independent is a national security issue.

Furthermore, the sanctions against Russia have had some unintended consequences. First, they have made Putin stronger, not weaker. He has plenty of trading partners who are willing to not only purchase Russia’s energy but pay in rubles. This threatens the dominance of the Petrodollar and has increased the value of the ruble compared to before the war. It is trading as the world’s best currency this year.

Russia’s embracing of fossil fuels has strengthened its position worldwide. NATO should follow suit. If countries are reluctant to increase fossil fuel production, they can look to France for leadership on the alternatives. France is expanding its nuclear power program. This type of energy is extremely clean and current technological advances have also made it very safe. Countries should look to a combination of nuclear power and ramping up fossil fuel production, not imposing conservation policies that make themselves weaker.