“Energy is a weapon for him (Putin),” said Dr. Nesheiwat during the press conference. She went on to describe the water insecurity in the world that leads to war, and expounded on how autocratic petrostates hold leverage over nations dependent on fossil fuels. Diversity to our energy supplies with clean energy would help our “economy and save lives.”

The Ukrainian war jeopardizes food supplies. Ukraine and Russia are important food suppliers for low – and middle-income countries in which tens of millions of people are already food insecure. Combined, their exports were responsible for about 26 percent of global wheat in 2020.

“In 2014, the same year Russia annexed Crimea, then-North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned that Russia was covertly working to undermine European and U.S. fossil fuel production,” said Dr. Julia Nesheiwat, Consensus for American Security, American Security Project U.S. Army military intelligence officer, veteran. “We have to restructure the global energy system to avoid this kind of exposure to the whims of a single man, or nation. Removing barriers to ramp up our domestic energy production will strengthen our national security. Feeding diverse clean energy sources into our grid would also insulate us from the fluctuations of fossil fuel prices and autocrats who wield their oil and gas reserves as weapons. The security of peaceful democratic nations relies, in large part, by diversifying supply and curbing greenhouse gas emissions and their dependency on fossil fuels.”

Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is being bolstered by $285m in oil payments made every day by European countries, a new analysis by the Transport & Environment (T&E) thinktank has found. Oil and gas accounts for 40 percent of the Russian federal budget. Without it, and along with the stinging sanctions, their economy would crumble.

About Dr. Julia Nesheiwat:

Dr. Julia Nesheiwat is a recognized expert for energy, environment, climate change, and national security issues as a public servant, academic, former military officer, and US diplomat. She is a Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and since December 2020, has served as Commissioner on the US Arctic Research Commission reporting to the White House and Congress on domestic and international Arctic issues.

Dr. Nesheiwat brings unique experiences having served over twenty years in international energy diplomacy, critical infrastructure protection, climate, environmental science, and national security serving in the Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations. From July 2019 to February 2020, she served as Florida’s first Chief Resilience Officer, launching a new office dedicated to addressing the environmental, physical, and economic impacts of climate change and emergency preparedness for the state.

From February 2020 to January 2021, Dr. Nesheiwat served as the Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security & Resilience, and from 2011 to 2014, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State where she worked to build the first Energy Resources Bureau at the Department of State. Prior to holding those positions, she served as Chief of Staff to US Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy as well as the Under Secretary for Energy, Environment, and Business. Her PhD dissertation from Tokyo Tech, “Post-Disaster Reconstruction in Energy Policy & Resiliency” focused on post-disaster reconstruction of coastal towns suffering from lack of power, flooding, and rising sea levels. She served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on low-carbon energy transformation as well as an International Affairs Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Nesheiwat is a visiting professor at the Naval Postgraduate School on Energy Security and has lectured at Stanford University and the University of California San Diego.

She received her BA from Stetson University, MA from Georgetown University, and PhD from Tokyo Institute of Technology.