Earthquakes in the Netherlands Just Added to Europe’s Energy Crisis

Earthquakes in the Netherlands Just Added to Europe’s Energy Crisis
A crack in the wall of a farm building in Hunzinge, northern Netherlands, Jan. 19, 2018 (AP photo by Peter Dejong).

Last month, as European countries prepared for a sharp drop in natural gas supplies and an impending energy crisis ahead of the first full winter since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Netherlands made a jarring announcement: It would slash production at one of the world’s largest natural gas fields, one with the potential to replace much of the gas Europe has grown used to importing from Russia.

The decision did not come as a surprise, but it was a painful reminder of the tough, politically fraught choices European countries are making as they try to wean themselves off of Russian gas and brace themselves not only for sharply higher heating fuel prices, but also for potentially dangerous shortages.

The energy crisis has multiple ramifications, from making daily life more expensive for already stretched family budgets, to potentially threatening vital economic activity and possibly tipping European economies into deep recession.

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