Cold Winter Ahead: EU Wants to Force Member States Cut Gas Usage by 15 Per Cent

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (L) and European Commission Vice Presid
JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images

Eurocrats in Brussels are looking to force EU member states to cut gas usage by 15 per cent in the hopes of surviving the coming cold winter.

Each individual EU member state should be expected to cut its gas usage by 15 per cent, the EU Commission has said, emphasising that a reduction in usage is needed in order to get through the current energy crisis brought about due to the bloc’s overreliance on Russian exports.

Vladimir Putin’s government has already either partially or fully cut off a number of EU nation states from Russian gas in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, with Moscow confirming that further reductions in supply are now highly likely.

This has now prompted a more extreme response from Eurocrats in Brussels, who are now pushing to force every single one of the bloc’s member states to reduce its gas usage by 15 per cent in the hopes of allowing the union to make it through the winter.

“All consumers, public administrations, households, owners of public buildings, power suppliers and industry can and should take measures to save gas,” a press release announcing the proposed measure reads.

“The new Regulation would set a target for all Member States to reduce gas demand by 15% between 1 August 2022 and 31 March 2023,” it continued, before noting that the EU is also seeking the power to declare a “Union Alert” on supply security that would force “mandatory reductions” to be made by EU states.

The press release goes on to say that — while it is against forcing private households to ration gas — it would like to see member states encourage citizens to turn down their heating/air conditioning, while the rationing of heating and cooling in public buildings is presented as an example of how gas reduction targets could be met.

Brussels’ plan to see gas usage shaved down across the bloc comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin threatens further cuts to Europe’s gas supply, with the country’s leader now suggesting that Germany commit to opening the sanctioned Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the activation of which was indefinitely cancelled after Russian tanks rolled over the de facto Ukrainian border earlier this year.

Putin claims that such a reduction is due to the degrading state of the original Nord Stream pipeline, which it claims cannot be adequately repaired due to ongoing sanctions imposed on it by the West.

“We have another route ready — it’s Nord Stream 2, which can be launched,” the Russian President noted, implying that German authorities should back down on its position that the new pipeline should remain dormant.

Even if this pipeline were to be opened, however, Putin emphasised that it would not run at full capacity due to reasons to do with “domestic consumption and processing”.

To make matters worse, the EU’s energy commissioner, Kadri Simson, admitted that, even if the EU does manage to limp through the coming winter, it would only do so by heavily depleting its existing gas reserves, which she believes the bloc would likely be unable to replenish for winter 2023.

“We risk ending this winter with empty storage which will be impossible to refill in time for the next heating season,” Euronews reports the Eurocrat as saying.

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