Russian Gas Threat: France President Calls for Energy Rationing
French President, Emmanuel Macron, has called on his citizens to brace up for a complete cutoff of Russian natural gas. The President said citizens must turn public lights off at night and embrace what he referred to as energy “sobriety.”
Among the plans to lessen the blow of a Russian gas cutoff, Macron is offering up an energy conservation plan that, among other things, would curtail the use of public streetlights.
In a telecast last weekend, monitored by Associated Press, Macron said that while France is seeking to boost alternative energy sources and new natural gas supplies, tough times lay ahead.
“This war will continue. The summer, early autumn will be very hard. Russia is using energy, like it is using food, as a weapon of war. We should prepare ourselves for the scenario where we have to go without all Russian gas,” Macron said.
The French president is under intensifying pressure from both the country’s far-right and far-left, who hold him accountable for domestic failures to keep consumer prices under control and for his inability – however farfetched – to end Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine.
Macron’s government lost its absolute majority in the National Assembly last June general elections, weakening his position against his opponents.
The French president has vowed to increase the country’s supply of renewable energy. At the same time, he is committed to relying on nuclear power as a permanent solution. The French president is eyeing a 50/50 mix of nuclear power and renewable energy.
There are media reports that in a bid to keep costs down for consumers, Macron is preparing an energy nationalization plan that will see the government take over the remaining 16% share in the giant EDF power group for more than 8 billion euros, and possibly up to 10 billion euros with debt included.
Overall, the Rhine has become an even more important transit route for commodities in Germany and Switzerland since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.