Indeed, the Journal’s Web site still has a strong environment news section online, and Johnson is still on the Journal’s staff, although what he’ll be covering next remains unclear. Hopefully, they’ll get that sorted out, because he is a valuable asset. His penultimate post, about the importance of pricing economic “externalities” in our energy system, is a case in point:

To take a single example: The price that American drivers pay at the pump, frightening as it is these days, does not reflect the cost of oil and gasoline. There are additional costs to the reliance on oil that simply don’t show up in the twirling numbers at the gas pump, whether they are the environmental costs of oil extraction, transport and combustion, or the cost of U.S. military engagement to protect oil supplies and keep vital sea lanes open…

New energy policies that seek to redress those problems, and unleash rather than further stifle a genuine market for energy, will point the way toward a new energy future that makes sense, both environmentally and economically. That’s because, if new policies set out to tackle those externalities once and for all, the environmental answer will quite often become the economic answer. Everything has its price—and its cost.

News outlets should be maintaining and fostering blogs that can provide these kinds of insights, not canceling them.

[Update: On disappointingly related note, CBS News’ science and technology correspondent, Daniel Sieberg, was laid off on Tuesday, according to TV Newser. He’d been with the network for three years.]

Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.