January 29, 2022

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: What if Russia turns off the gas? Europe assesses its options as fears mount over Ukraine crisis. Brad Templeton comments that the pressure goes both ways: “50% of Russians get their income from the government, which gets 43% of its revenue from oil and gas and is 1/3rd of the GDP. Putin rules only because Europe keeps sending him money to buy fossil fuel we want to stop burning. The analysis found in comment #1 considers what happens if Russia cuts off or is forced to cut off its gas pipelines, and the answer is it would be tough, but Europe would manage. But what if Europe stops paying, not now, but in the spring, when it has 6 months before winter to reconfigure to use imported LNG and other sources, re-boot their shuttered nukes, install more renewables and turn up all the non-Russian fossil fuel it can get its hands on? Hard, but not as hard as I thought, and the USA would pay because it’s cheaper than the military cost of conflicts like this going into the future. Putin might collapse as his people revolt as the money stops flowing. On the other hand, there is a risk he could do something crazy on the way down, like pull out his nuclear weapons. So there’s that. And China might weigh in with its might, not liking increased US/Euro dominance. The price of oil and gas would rise.”

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