by Steve Milloy, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As appearing in The Daily Caller
Europe serves as an object lesson of the economic, social and national security disaster that is the climate hysteria-driven preference and overreliance on wind and solar power. Curiously, many seem eager to emulate that disaster here in the United States.
European countries have been in a wild dash to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases ever since the 1997 adoption of the international climate treaty known as the Kyoto Protocol. The 2015 Paris Climate Accord only accelerated these efforts, which largely focused on closing coal plants and replacing them with natural gas power plants, wind turbines and solar panels.
Since wind and solar are only intermittent sources of energy, European countries have become highly dependent on natural gas for electricity generation and heating. Even as European demand for natural gas soared, ill-advised fracking bans left Europe little choice but to turn to Russia to fill its oil and gas needs.
Following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant accident, Germany shuttered its nuclear power plant fleet. The nation turned to coal as a temporary substitute fuel. But because Germany had already closed many of its mines in anticipation of a future without coal, it had to turn to Russia to make up for its coal shortfall.