Marc Andreessen, who Forbes described as an “influential” Silicon Valley venture capitalist, suggested in a Thursday Twitter post that the United States and Europe should immediately begin construction on new nuclear power plants in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Build 1,000 new state of the art nuclear power plants in the US and Europe, right now,” Andreessen tweeted. “We won’t, but we should.”
Andreessen’s call for more nuclear power plants comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s declaration of war against Ukraine raises concerns over the already rising energy prices.
As one of the leading producers of crude oil and natural gas, Russia provides the European Union with nearly 40 percent of its gas supply, according to CNET. Sanctions imposed by President Joe Biden area likely to impact that supply – the invasion already caused a spike in energy prices worldwide, with crude oil reaching $105 a barrel on Thursday for the first time in seven years.
“My guess is that you are going to see $5 a gallon at any triple-digit [oil prices] … as soon as you get to $100. And you might get to $6.50 or $7. Forget about $150 a gallon, I don’t know where we will be by then,” energy analyst Dan Dicker told Yahoo Finance.
The spike follows the already climbing average price of gas, which rose another 4.6 cents from the first week in February and hit $3.47 per gallon on February 14, GasBuddy reported, citing data compiled from over 11 million price reports on over 150,000 gas stations nationwide.
The average price is also up 16.5 cents from mid-January and 97.2 cents per gallon from last year.
“The jump in gasoline prices has continued unabated as oil prices continue to push higher, reaching $94 per barrel last week on continued concern over the possible imminent threat that Russia may invade Ukraine,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
“Not only are oil prices up, but the bulk of the nation is starting the multi-month transition to summer gasoline, further adding to the rise at the pump. In addition, cold weather in Texas last week caused some power outages at major refineries, further weighing on markets,” he continued. “I see no other potentials in the short term but additional price increases unless Russia does an about-face on Ukraine. Even then, we’ll still see seasonality push prices up, so motorists should be ready to dig deeper.”
Earlier this week, President Joe Biden said he was working on an effort to “blunt gas prices” in anticipation of the Russian invasion.
“We’re closely monitoring energy supply for any disruption, and we’re executing a plan … toward a collective investment to secure stability in global energy supplies,” Biden said. “I want to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump.”
Biden previously canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, which was designed to pump fuel from Canada to the United States, but gave the go-ahead to the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
“This is an anti-made in America energy administration,” said Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), according to Fox News. “We saw huge spikes in Russian oil imports last year. We saw President Biden tapping into our strategic oil reserves because the American people are feeling the pain at the gas pump.”