The likelihood of an extremely tight gas market during the winter is already pushing up futures prices. In the UK, for one, average household spending on energy for this year could reach about $4,000, 65% above last year. Germany and other countries are already burning more coal for electricity so they can sock more gas away in storage. Without filling the tanks, there’s a high risk that wintertime rationing will be made mandatory, and that Russia will have more leverage over a weakened Europe.

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