As has happened so many times during Donald Trump’s presidency, comments that were mocked are suddenly making much more sense, this time to Germany.
Though German leaders laughed at Trump’s 2018 warning about its dependence on Russian natural gas, the country now faces prices that have more than doubled since last year and is scrambling to replace the gas it gets from Russia.
“Germany will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course,
Trump said during a UN speech four years ago. “Here in the Western Hemisphere, we are committed to maintaining our independence from the encroachment of expansionist foreign powers.”
At the time, Germany just laughed. Fast forward four years, and it is abandoning green initiatives to burn firewood and coal in its desperation to meet the energy needs of its citizens.
Last week, Russia turned off the Nordstream 1 pipeline indefinitely, claiming it needs repairs and that sanctions over the war with Ukraine are slowing down the repair timeline.
It seems pretty clear that Russia is punishing Europe for the sanctions against it, and for indirectly helping Ukraine fight the Russian aggression.
As winter weather nears in Germany, homeowners are frantically trying to buy woodstoves and wood, but they are already sold out across the country with no hope of installing new equipment or seasoning wood by the time temperatures drop.
Of course, Trump’s hard work to reach U.S. energy independence didn’t last more than a couple of years either, since his successor is more concerned with greenhouse gases than whether Americans have natural gas to heat their homes this winter.
Matter of time
While the situation is not nearly as dire in the U.S., it may only be a matter of time until the same desperation is occurring here.
It’s not an easy transition to go from a gas furnace to wood, and even chopping firewood from your backyard isn’t a good solution since it takes up to two years to properly season wood so it burns correctly.
It’s going to take years for the U.S. and Europe to recover from the new reality in oil and gas prices, and the world may never be the same.
Meanwhile, OPEC cut production last week, showing that they are more than willing to take advantage of the situation to line their pockets and profit from the world’s desperation.