In the debate about extending the lifetime of nuclear power plants, Economics Minister Robert Habeck avoided making a clear statement. When asked whether this would not happen with him, the Green politician dodged and instead attacked CSU boss Markus Söder.

In the debate about a possible extension of nuclear power plants, Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) complained about a lack of objectivity and insufficient risk awareness. “First of all, nuclear power is a high-risk technology and some statements are just too playful for me. And I miss objectivity in the discussion,” he told the editorial network Germany (RND). The fact is that there is a gas problem and not an electricity problem. “This ‘Let’s keep it running, then everything will be fine’ is neither in relation to the cutbacks in safety standards that we would have to accept, nor is it appropriate to the situation.”

In response to the question of whether there would be an extension of the service life with him, he cautiously formulated: “For me, the risk-benefit analysis is the decisive one. But it is striking that it is precisely those who are drumming the loudest for a longer service life for the nuclear power plants who have previously delayed the expansion of electricity grids and wind power for many years nuclear reactors beyond 2022. “By the way, Markus Söder’s position on nuclear power would be much more credible if he were also willing to look for a repository for nuclear waste everywhere in Germany – including Bavaria.”

Habeck also pointed out that it was “extremely painful” for his part to start up the coal-fired power plants. He told the RND: “I would be happy if all those who are demanding something from us under the phrase ‘ideology-free’ would deal with reality for themselves. It would increase their own credibility in the debate.”

At the same time, Habeck asked companies with office space to help save energy. “It would be fatal to heat offices until 11 p.m. and at the same time destroy entire branches of industry,” Habeck told the editorial network Germany. At the same time, he assured: “Of course, private households and critical infrastructure such as hospitals, old people’s homes, care facilities are particularly protected.”

Referring to ongoing energy-saving efforts in local authorities, which are making adjustments to bathrooms and air conditioning, the Minister continued: “We should also think about whether it makes sense to spend Christmas or Easter where it works and where it doesn’t production continues, organizing company holidays to turn down the heating systems when most people are on vacation anyway.”  One cannot afford to heat entire office towers to over 20 degrees when only three people are sitting inside.

Habeck also called for the previous practice for heating public buildings to be changed. “In many public buildings, full room temperature is provided from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. A little less would also be tolerable in the off-peak times.” His impression is that from the economy to cities, states and the federal government to consumers, the seriousness of the situation has arrived and everyone is feverishly thinking about how to save so that the winter can end survive to some extent.

Habeck contradicted the impression he had made after making such statements that in a shortage situation he wanted to give preference to gas at the expense of private households in industry. “What I pointed out is the frivolity with which people sometimes say, well then, let’s shut down the industry. This overlooks the fact that the economy provides jobs, income and everyday goods.” Habeck made it clear: “Private households are particularly well protected and will continue to receive energy.”

Because of the enormous increase in gas prices, Habeck sees further relief for medium and low incomes as inevitable. “Even high earners swallow when they suddenly have to pay 4,500 euros a year for heating instead of 1,500,” said the minister to the editorial network Germany. For people with medium or low incomes, these sums are simply not representable. The federal government must organize relief here, also in 2023.

Habeck assigned the responsibility to Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP). He said: “I am sure that the Treasury will make provisions for this. We have a political task there.” Habeck does not have any other support services similar to the tank discount in mind. “With the tank discount, we saw that, as far as we know at the moment, the tax reduction was not passed on in full. It seems more targeted to me to support people directly,” explained the minister. He criticized the tank discount: “At least it didn’t work the way it should.”