by Kurt Zindulka, Breitbart:
German industry is reportedly preparing to institute gas rationing in Europe’s largest economy as Vladimir Putin’s Russia cut off shipments to Finland, which has launched an application to join the NATO military alliance.
The Federal Network Agency of Germany, locally known as the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), is reportedly drafting action plans to implement gas rationing in response to Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s demands that unfriendly nations purchase natural gas from Moscow in rubles rather than Western currencies such as the dollar or euro.
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According to a report from the Reuters news agency, BNetzA — which regulates energy in Germany — said: “Depending on the seriousness of the shortages … it could be necessary … to cut supply of gas to some users to zero.”
Germany, even after government measures to lessen dependency on Russian oil and gas, still receives around 35 per cent of its gas imports from Russia, sparking concerns among business leaders that should the supplies be cut off, there could be massive implications for the German economy, which is already experiencing its highest level of inflation in over 40 years.
The president of the BNetzA regulator, Klaus Mueller said that any rationing system would focus on keeping critical and profitable industries running, however, because of the interconnectedness of modern supply chains, it will be difficult to predict potential knock-on effects of shutting down certain businesses.
According to the report, the government is planning on reimbursing firms should they cut gas consumption through halting production in order to free up supplies for more critical industries.
Another plan would be to auction off rights to gas access, however, a lobbying group for small to mid-size companies in Germany, dubbed BVMW, has argued that this will prioritise big businesses that can afford to pay higher prices for energy.
“To auction gas rights is not fair,” explained Hans-Juergen Voelz, the group’s chief economist. “Big, financially strong companies have a much higher pain threshold in such auctions than a mittelstand (medium-sized) company.”