Europe Rolls Out Plan to Conserve Gas Amid Fears Russia Will Tighten Taps

The European Union is pressing governments to step up their energy-conservation campaigns and prepare for possible rationing of natural gas amid rising concerns that Russia is about to tighten its squeeze on the continent’s supply.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, released a plan Wednesday that pushes governments to prepare for a winter without ample supplies of Russian gas. That scenario was thrown into relief this week as capitals across Europe waited for Moscow to restart Nord Stream, a key artery carrying gas from Russia to Europe, after a period of scheduled maintenance that is set to end Thursday. Europeans are on edge because Moscow had already reduced the flow of gas through Nord Stream to about 40% of its capacity before the maintenance period began.

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