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In Wake of State Dept Report on Keystone XL, Enviros Pledge to Keep Fighting – January 31, 2014

“The President has all the information he needs to reject this pipeline,” Keystone opponents say

A general rule in Washington, DC says that if news is breaking on a Friday afternoon, it’s usually bad news. Officials in the capital know that if they want to avoid negative attention on a decision or announcement, then the eve of the weekend is the best time to drop it.

Keystone protest poster in front of White HousePhoto by TarsandsactionEnvironmental activists are already mobilizing to hold anti-Keystone vigils across the US on Monday night.

It would seem, then, that the State Department’s release of its final environmental impact statement on the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would at 3… more

by: Jason Mark

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“All of the Above” Still a Big Disappointment – January 28, 2014

Greens largely unexcited by State of the Union

About a third of the way through tonight’s State of the Union address, as he tackled the issues of climate change and the environment, President Obama proclaimed, “The shift to a cleaner energy economy won’t happen overnight, and it will require tough choices along the way.”

True enough. The transition will take time, and it will force some hard decisions. But the problem here, as many environmentalists see it, is that the president doesn’t seem willing to make those touch choices. Instead, he’s doubling down on his “all of the above” energy strategy. And “all of the above” isn’t a choice – it’s a more like an all-you-can eat policy buffet… more

by: Jason Mark

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Secretary Jewell Targets Nature Deficit Disorder – January 9, 2014

Twenty-first Century Conservation Corps gets off the ground

I’ll admit that in the grand scheme of Washington politics, the news yesterday out of the Department of the Interior isn’t exactly earthshaking. During a news conference at the FDR Memorial in DC, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that retailer American Eagle Outfitters will contribute $1 million to her effort to create a “Twenty-first Century Conservation Corps” that will, as a DOI press release explains, “put America’s youth and veterans to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s natural and cultural resources.”

photo of children and a woman looking at grass seeds outdoorsphoto by Tina Shaw / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on FlickrSecretary Sally… more

by: Jason Mark

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A Becky Tarbotton Remembrance – December 26, 2013

Some notes on the art of leadership

A year ago today my friend Becky Tarbotton died while swimming in rough surf off the coast of Mexico. It was the kind of accident that is so unexpected and shocking — so out of the blue — that it felt, in the fullest sense of the word, nightmarish. It felt like the world had spun out of control, in all the wrong directions. Becky was just 39 years old when she died. Her death occurred on a bright morning, in the midst of a holiday beach vacation, among her closest friends and her new husband, Mateo Williford. The couple had been married just six months. The whole thing was… more

by: Jason Mark

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The Ten Most Important Environmental Stories of 2013 – December 18, 2013

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Ah, the winter holidays. Christmas trees, sugary treats, alcohol-fueled office parties, binge shopping … and end-of-year Best of Lists. No December is complete without all of those Top Ten compilations in which we wistfully look back at the year-that-was. Sometimes these lists are little more than click-bait (“Top Ten Miley Moments” anyone?), but often they’re a great reminder of the year’s highs and lows.

There are a couple of excellent round-ups for people who care about the environment. TIME’s environment correspondent, Bryan Walsh, has a smart take here. And I also really enjoyed this list put together by Mongabay’s Rhett Butler.

Below are my picks for… more

by: Jason Mark

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