This will be a godsend for those struggling with rocketing European energy prices and sustained inflation . Other European nations are doing the same, as well as more than a dozen U.S. states. But doling out millions of dollars without increased economic production will likely do more to ratchet up inflation than minimize it. The Federal Reserve admitted as much in July. It certainly won’t expedite the end of the energy crisis.
What “anti-inflation” payouts represent, then, are failed energy policies. European coal plants are being fired up after years offline. LNG terminal projects in Finland and Italy are being greenlit to speed up imports. Germany’s last three nuclear power plants, set to be decommissioned this year, are receiving a second life as politicians concede the errors of the zero-carbon narrative. In the last decade, German leaders heralded the shutdown of nuclear, subsidies for solar and wind, and imports of wood pellets from southern U.S. forests as “renewable” energy. They fired up dormant coal facilities to fill the gap while Russian natural gas became the primary means of energy.
It was a sweet deal upended only by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which was followed by international condemnation and energy sanctions. With Nord Stream pipelines out of the picture ( sabotaged by whom, we may never know ), German politicians are left championing coal and absconding their distaste for nuclear energy.
German energy policy, known as Energiewende, was already acknowledged as a failure. Swapping domestic nuclear power for Vladimir Putin’s gas meant Germans could boast about the 35% renewable energy mix to global praise. But that Faustian bargain has left German leaders scrambling for energy alternatives from Western liberal democracies and Arab dictatorships to fill Russia’s void. Such a glaring failure should give pause to the green ambitions of America’s political class. Instead, the Democratic Party has chosen the same trodden path.