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US State Department

State Dept. Overseers of Contentious Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline Workaround Have Industry, Torture Ties

Steve Horn | Posted 08.27.2014 | Green
Steve Horn

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlogThe Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and other green groups recently revealed that pipeline giant Enbridge ...

Charles Barber on the Complexities of Stopping Deforestation

Andrew Dudley | Posted 08.30.2014 | Green
Andrew Dudley

Washington, DC: As the need to feed a burgeoning population is pitched against our ability to preserve rainforests, the need for people like Charles (...

Revealed: Heather Zichal Met With Cheniere Executives as Obama Energy Aide Before Board Nomination

Steve Horn | Posted 08.27.2014 | Green
Steve Horn

According to a DeSmogBlog review of White House meeting logs, between 2009 and 2013, the Obama White House held 32 meetings with Cheniere board members and lobbyists.

Heather Zichal, Former Obama Energy Aide, Named to Board of Fracked Gas Exports Giant Cheniere

Steve Horn | Posted 08.20.2014 | Green
Steve Horn

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlogHeather Zichal, former Obama White House Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, may soon walk ou...

Silent Coup: How Enbridge Is Quietly Cloning the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline

Steve Horn | Posted 08.19.2014 | Green
Steve Horn

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlogWhile the debate over the TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has raged on for over half a deca...

The Somaly Mam Story: What We Still Know About Sex Trafficking

Taina Bien-Aime | Posted 08.02.2014 | Impact
Taina Bien-Aime

When trust is breached, those even slightly involved with the targeted fabricator panic and recoil. The fight or flight response kicks in: Does one stay silent and hide; or support and defend?

Social Media Are Undervalued in Counterterrorism

Philip Seib | Posted 07.07.2014 | World
Philip Seib

Social media constitute the virtual battlefield in a struggle against terrorism that shows no signs of becoming less fierce. Once the foreign fighters now engaged in the Syrian war turn elsewhere, they will find numerous paths to follow, perhaps urged forward by their social media cheerleaders.

New Ads Reveal Coal Isn't Cheap in Kosovo

Justin Guay | Posted 07.05.2014 | Business
Justin Guay

Co-authored with Jeta Xharra, editor in chief of Kosovo's current affairs TV program 'Life in Kosovo' People across Kosovo are banding together to sa...

TransCanada Charitable Fund Launches Keystone XL "Good Neighbor" Charm Offensive

Steve Horn | Posted 06.29.2014 | Green
Steve Horn

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlogTransCanada has taken a page out of former U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's playbook and deployed a public relat...

Vice President Joe Biden Promotes U.S. as Fracking Missionary Force On Ukraine Trip

Steve Horn | Posted 06.23.2014 | Green
Steve Horn

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlogDuring his two-day visit this week to Kiev, Ukraine, Vice President Joe Biden unfurled President Barack Obama's "U.S....

XL Pipeline: Sen. Whitehouse and Rep. Waxman Question Koch Bros

Marcia G. Yerman | Posted 06.06.2014 | Green
Marcia G. Yerman

As a writer on environmental issues, as well as a person concerned about the future of the planet, I am anxiously awaiting the decision on the XL pipe...

OOPS: Goverment Lost Contract Files Worth Billions

AP | Posted 04.06.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government investigation has found that the State Department has incomplete files or is missing files for more than $6 billion i...

BP Lake Michigan Oil Spill: Did Tar Sands Spill Into the Great Lake?

Steve Horn | Posted 05.28.2014 | Green
Steve Horn

With a drinking water source for seven million people at stake, this "tar sands name game" is one with high stakes indeed.

Follow the Money: Three Energy Export Congressional Hearings, Climate Undiscussed

Steve Horn | Posted 05.26.2014 | Green
Steve Horn

Cross-posted from DeSmogBlog In light of ongoing geopolitical tensions in Russia, Ukraine and hotly contested Crimea, three (yes, three!) U.S. Congre...

Massive Anti-Keystone Message Scheduled For Tonight

The Huffington Post | Brianna Elliott | Posted 03.07.2014 | Green

The U.S. Department of State opened a 30-day public comment period in February for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, and they received a really clear...

We Don't Use That History Stuff Anyway, Do We?

William E. White | Posted 05.06.2014 | Education
William E. White

Americans are terribly present-minded. We are mostly concerned about the here and the now. Please consider for just a moment the very unique role of the individual in our American story and what it can teach us about the critical role of citizens in a republic.

Economic Diplomacy as Public Diplomacy

Philip Seib | Posted 05.03.2014 | Politics
Philip Seib

It could be argued that the United States is trying to buy hearts and minds. That is an unnecessarily uncharitable judgment of these programs. American foreign policy planners would be foolish not to use economic muscle to accomplish their goals.

Two Americans Disappear in West African Dictatorship

James Moore | Posted 04.26.2014 | World
James Moore

The U.S. needs to immediately hold him responsible for the welfare of two American citizens and demand verifiable information on their safety, or proof of their deaths and the return of their remains.

Public Diplomacy and Press Freedom

Philip Seib | Posted 04.26.2014 | Media
Philip Seib

The White House and State Department need to rev up the engine of public diplomacy and make it more central to U.S. foreign policy. Forcefully defending press freedom would be a good way to start. The world will take note.

Speak Up With Jimmy: Michelle Kwan on Sports as a Diplomacy Tool (VIDEO)

Jimmy Nguyen | Posted 04.20.2014 | Sports
Jimmy Nguyen

Michelle talks about her work as a Senior Adviser and Public Diplomacy Envoy for the U.S. State Department, and using the universal appeal of sports to improve international relations. She also talks about her efforts to inspire youth around the world.

Keystone XL's Northern Leg: A Fracked Oil Pipeline Along with Tar Sands

Steve Horn | Posted 04.08.2014 | Green
Steve Horn

Many doubt that rail could ever replace pipeline as a viable marketing mechanism for Alberta's tar sands. But few could argue the fact that rail reigns supreme for bringing Bakken fracked oil to market.

Bringing a Hard Edge to Soft Power

Philip Seib | Posted 04.08.2014 | World
Philip Seib

In some countries, including the United States, politics and the scarcity of common sense have led to soft power being pushed out of the policy mainstream, consigned to the backwaters of wishful thinking. Correcting this, in the United States at least, will require structural change.

Radio Beijing in the Middle East

Joseph Braude | Posted 04.08.2014 | World
Joseph Braude

Like American public diplomacy efforts in the Arab world, the Confucius Institute--the franchise of Chinese educational facilities that was promoted in the Arabic CRI broadcast--also encounters opposition in some countries where it maintains a presence.

The Kardashian Index: On the "How" and "Why" of International Development Work

Ming Holden | Posted 04.06.2014 | Impact
Ming Holden

I wondered what the tenuous connection was between Britney Spears the breathing human and the faded sticker bearing her image thousands of miles away.

State Dept's Keystone XL Contractor, ERM Group, Also OK'd Controversial Pebble Mine in Alaska

Steve Horn | Posted 03.25.2014 | Green
Steve Horn

One thing is clear as Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama head into decision-making time on Keystone XL's northern half: ERM has always been able to turn a blind eye to serious environmental impacts.