It's jolly nice of Joe Biden to say that he'll make sure "Europe is able to make it through the winter and spring" as regards natural gas, if Putin switches off (some of) the taps. But he'll search in vain for a good precedent.
Oil is proibably the most relevant. Yes, Saudi Arabia has been prevailed upon from time to time to open the taps a bit - but in terms of total volume, only to marginal effect. (The effect on the price can be disproportionate, of course: that's how the market dynamic of commodities operates.) But what about the First Oil Crisis 1973-74?
Recap: Israel invaded Egypt; OPEC reduced overall production and instituted an "embargo" of sales to countries it deemed to be supporting Israel - notably, the Netherlands on some pretext I've forgotten. So the OECD set up a small working group in its Paris offices, (an organisation that was later to become permanent as the IEA) to coordinate the entire free world's oil stocks. Everyone played ball, and a scheme of global rationing was put in place.** It kinda worked, and eventually OPEC backed down.
But let nobody imagine it was a walk in the park. (a) All motoring was severely impacted, for months++. (b) Not a few power stations around the western world were oil-fired back then, and there were serious power cuts. (c) The price of oil went up from around $3 to $12, and stayed there (until the Second Oil Crisis in 1979, of course, when it went to $30). This of course is widely blamed for the serious western inflation and economic downturn of the '70s, Thatcher & the Wicked Tories etc etc.
And oil is very much easier to re-direct and store than natural gas, even with today's big fleet of LNG vessels. Biden makes great play of how he's talked to the Qataris about "more gas for Europe" but believe me, at recent prices they and every non-Russian gas producer on the planet has been flat out at max already. (Whisper it softly but the UK has been importing US shale gas for months now.)
The parallels of the oil crisis of 1973 if played out in natural gas in 2022 would be extremely painful, possibly long-lasting, and inflicted on populations that have forgotten about commodity privations and how to get by. (1973 was less than 30 years after WW2, and only 20 years after UK rationing stopped.) In particular, who can see the Germans - among the worst exposed - going along with it? As noted here before, Merkel spent the long years of her regime doing absolutely nothing to lessen German dependence on Russian gas (not even a single LNG terminal) because, truth be told, (i) she's a Russophile and (ii) Germany's foreign policy vis-à-vis Russia has long been based on a voluntary Danegeld principle, which privately they've convinced themselves is a positive thing. They're appallingly exposed; and the rest of us still largely depend on gas for heating, and (across the whole of Europe) balancing the grids when the wind doesn't blow.
So Good Luck Joe, and thanks for the thought, even as we contemplate shivering through until spring. But you try getting the Germans fully onside.
** They wanted the rationing to be "optimal" (big word, that) so they needed a Linear Programming approach of unprecedented magnitude. The maths doesn't change with size so it's conceptually straightforward - but not so easy on the computers of the day. So Exxon offered the use of its suite of mainframes at Florham Park, NJ, and its expert staff of mathematicians (which big energy companies used to have in those days).
++ I was at Sandhurst at the time. We had our use of trucks severely curtailed, and frequently had to get to training areas on 1930's vintage iron bicycles! Riding a heavy bicycle, in winter, on unmetalled tracks in full kit with a GPMG on your back is no joke, I may tell you. Character-forming, indeed ...