Due to the conflict in Ukraine, Russia — the world’s third-largest producer of energy as of 2019 — has cut off natural gas supplies to many European nations. Meanwhile, sanctions against Russia have also severed many Europeans from a major source of gasoline.
As a result, gas prices in leading European economies are significantly higher than in the United States. Citizens of Germany, for example, are purchasing gas at $7.89 per gallon as of June 6. In the United Kingdom, Spain, and France, prices at the pump are $8.32, $8.40, and $8.57, respectively. Prices are especially high in Scandinavia — $9.33 in Sweden, $10.13 in Finland, $10.32 in Denmark, and $10.82 in Norway.
British Conservation Alliance head of research Connor Tomlinson told The Daily Wire that America’s “fall from grace as a leading exporter” prompted Britain to rely upon Russia and other hostile powers.
“Were Trump still in office, and our Prime Minister less beholden to green lobbyists, I don’t doubt we’d have signed a deal securing cleaner and reliable oil and gas,” Tomlinson remarked.
As of Thursday, average national gas prices in the United States are $4.97 per gallon. In California, which has particularly harsh regulations on gas consumption, the cost per gallon is $6.40. Nevertheless, in the United States, gas prices have more than doubled since the time President Joe Biden assumed office.
Members of the Biden administration have dismissed the high prices — or suggested that they will lead to a more favorable green energy adoption.
After questions from a reporter about “enormously high gas prices” last month, President Joe Biden said: “When it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over.”
Likewise, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm contended that soaring gas prices are an “exclamation point” to transition away from fossil fuels.
“No one has ever weaponized access to the sun,” Granholm said in reference to Russia’s move to cancel energy exports. “No one has ever weaponized access to wind. The way we are energy secure is to build homegrown clean energy, and other countries are looking to that as well.”
Europe generally has a higher level of regulation upon fossil fuels than the United States. As of 2018, the United Kingdom taxes gasoline for road use at $3.49 per gallon. In Germany, France, and Spain, drivers pay $2.86, $2.73, and $1.99 per gallon, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Tomlinson added that although gas prices in Britain have always been higher than in the United States, a series of policy decisions over the last two decades has worsened the problem.
“We abandoned domestic gas production in the North Sea after a peak in 2000,” Tomlinson explained. “We became net importers in 2005, and doubly tax our energy sources with a value-added tax (VAT) — something the Brexiteers promised to scrap once we left the EU, but have failed to do so — and a fuel duty tax.”
Although the fuel duty tax was lowered by five pence per liter (about $0.24 per gallon) earlier this year, inflationary pressures led to a functional tax increase of seven pence per liter (about $0.33 per gallon) — meaning that drivers are “still paying two pence per liter at the pump higher than pre-pandemic levels.”
“Businesses can claim VAT back, but consumers cannot, so working families are being priced out of automobile ownership,” Tomlinson said.