Should the Ukraine crisis result in a catastrophic fuel shortage, Ireland plans to reintroduce harsh COVID-style lockdown rules.
According to a leak made public on Monday, Ireland’s Europhile government is considering a return to severe COVID-style lockdowns if a fuel shortage arises as a result of the continuing Ukraine conflict.
It comes as ongoing hostilities between Russia and the West over Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine put considerable strain on the global supply of fossil fuels, with climate-change activists in Europe sometimes contributing to more local shortages by obstructing vital oil infrastructure.
Officials have war-gamed implementing compulsory work from home orders for non-essential workers, limits on so-called “non-essential” travel, and strict speed limits on highways as part of what has been described as a confidential “high-level planning exercise,” according to leaks described by the Irish Independent.
The secret conference reportedly discussed fuel rationing and limiting when specific vehicles can be filled at gas stations, with delegates being advised to prepare for three possible fuel crisis situations of varying severity.
While there is allegedly little risk of significant fuel shortages as a result of current international tensions over Ukraine, the chairman of one of the organisations present at the meeting stated that preparation for a future fuel crisis is “prudent.”
“While it remains highly unlikely that we will experience a reduced supply of fuel, it is prudent that we and the Government engage in emergency planning,” Fuels for Ireland CEO Kevin McPartlan stated.
Given the energy security challenges that a number of European countries are currently facing, McPartlan’s fairly concrete assurance about Ireland’s future fuel supply may appear to be optimistic.
Countries such as Germany are currently in an extremely difficult situation as a result of their addictions to Russian gas, with financial disaster looming if Vladimir Putin decides to pull the plug, despite previous warnings from Donald Trump and others to reduce reliance on Moscow’s energy exports.
And he’s done so before, with Russia fully cutting off Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, and the Netherlands from its network, prompting some European leaders to accuse the Kremlin of blackmailing its opponents.