3. Mother Jones Blue Marble

Muckraking journalism from the trenches and inside the beltway

Mother Jones's Blue Marble blog     Photo: Courtesy Mother Jones

Good for: An environmental pit-stop for lovers of policy, pretty pictures, and investigative reporting.

Written by: The prolific reporter Kate Sheppard covers policy while former documentarian Julia Whitty brings in science and striking multimedia.

The Blue Marble blog went from interesting to essential environmental news when Kate Sheppard, formerly of Grist, joined Mother Jones's Washington, D.C. bureau two years ago.* She files meaty posts and stays on top of breaking environmental policy developments. Her Blue Marble cohorts complement this policy coverage by tracking wildlife issues, food news, environmental justice, and whatever else the magazine's investigative reporting staff can dig up.

Sample post: So Obama delayed his decision on the Keystone XL pipeline proposal. Now what? This post delves into the fact of the tar sands oil.

Enviros were, understandably, quite pleased by last week's announcement that they Keystone XL pipeline has been indefinitely delayed. The Obama administration hasn't outright rejected it, but it is punting the decision to at least the end of 2012, pending further assessment of its environmental impact. But many see this as a significant victory for US environmentalists.

The likely demise of the Keystone XL doesn't necessarily mean that the oil from the tar sands stays in the ground. It probably just means it won't come into the United States. Instead, it's likely that more oil will be shipped to Canada's west coast, via other proposed pipelines. Speaking at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Honolulu over the weekend, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated that the country will instead increase its focus on exports to Asia. From the Wall Street Journal:

"This does underscore the necessity of Canada making sure that we are able to access Asia markets for our energy products," Mr. Harper told reporters in Honolulu, according to a transcript provided by his office. "And that will be an important priority of our government going forward." Mr. Harper said he made that point in a meeting the day before with Chinese president Hu Jintao. ...

Read more at Blue Marble

*A previous version of this article indicated that Kate Sheppard joined Mother Jones last year. She has been with the magazine for two years.

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