Entrepreneur Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, said on Sunday that Europe needed to immediately restart dormant nuclear power plants due to increasing energy prices from Russia invading Ukraine.
“Hopefully, it is now extremely obvious that Europe should restart dormant nuclear power stations and increase power output of existing ones. This is *critical* to national and international security,” Musk tweeted. “Also nuclear is vastly better for global warming than burning hydrocarbons for energy.”
“For those who (mistakenly) think this is a radiation risk, pick what you think is the worst location,” Musk added. “I will travel there & eat locally grown food on TV. I did this in Japan many years ago, shortly after Fukushima. Radiation risk is much, much lower than most people believe.”
The Financial Times reported:
Europe is facing shortages of building materials as companies have stopped production because of surging energy costs and “chaotic” EU policies, the head of the world’s biggest brickmaker has warned. …
His warning came after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia triggered further volatility in natural gas markets, pushing European wholesale prices for next day delivery up 38 per cent on Friday to €205 per megawatt hour, a ninefold increase compared with a year ago.
Musk said late last week that he supported increasing domestic oil and gas drilling to offset energy problems that the U.S. is facing due to policies from the Biden administration and the war in Europe.
“Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures,” Musk tweeted. “Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports.”
Musk’s tweet comes as energy prices have been a problem under Democrat President Joe Biden, and there has been widespread support to cut U.S. imports of Russian oil in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
“A broad bipartisan majority of Americans think the United States should stop buying Russian oil,” Reuters reported. “Some 80% of Americans – including solid majorities of Republicans and Democrats – support the measure.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. imported approximately 672,000 barrels of oil a day from Russia and that during Biden’s first year in office “U.S. imports of Russian crude hit the highest levels in about a decade.”
When asked this week about whether continuing to buy Russian oil was effectively “financing the war” in Europe, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tried to downplay it, saying, “it’s only about 10 percent of what we’re importing.”
The national average price for gas over the weekend jumped to $4 per gallon for the first time since 2008 as prices continued to worsen during Biden’s administration.
“As of Sunday afternoon, the national average of a regular gallon of gas was $4.009, according to AAA,” USA Today reported. “That’s up 8 cents from Saturday and up 40 cents from last week. The U.S. hit the $4 national average a day earlier than analysts expected.”
Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at fuel-savings app GasBuddy, said in a tweet on Sunday that gas prices were approaching an all-time high.
“We are currently at a 7 day rise in #gasprices of 43.7c/gal,” he tweeted. “If we surpass 49.0c/gal ago, we will be at the highest ever 7 day rise in average price.”