Clean Start: June 15, 2011

Welcome to Clean Start, ThinkProgress Green’s morning round-up of the latest in climate and clean energy. Here is what we’re reading. What are you?

The massive fire in Arizona is now the largest in the state’s history. “The monster fire has some people wondering—does climate change mean there will be more fir
es like this in the future?” [TNR; NY Times]

Reps. Barney Frank introduced an amendment that would double funding to the CFTC in the face of drastic cuts proposed by the GOP agriculture spending bill. According to the Hill, Democrats spent some of the day Tuesday arguing that the cuts to the CFTC “would only make it harder for the agency to prevent commodity price spikes caused by speculation.” [The Hill]

Today the Senate EPW Committee convenes  a hearing on “The Clean Air Act and Public Health.” CAP’s Christina C. DiPasquale, Valeri Vasquez write that, “One of the witnesses will be Cathy S. Woollums, Senior Vice President of MidAmerican Energy.  She will reiterate recent statements by other big polluting utilities – including American Electric Power – and threaten rate hikes and job loses if the proposed power plant health safeguards become final.” [CP]

“New regulations on mercury, arsenic and other toxic air pollution from power plants proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in March would not provide a drag on the current economic recovery and would in fact have a slightly positive impact on job growth in coming years.” [EPI]

The Hill’s E2 blog reports on the ongoing battle in the Senate over ethanol subsidies. “The Senate on Tuesday rejected Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-Okla.) amendment that would almost immediately end a major ethanol tax break,” but more votes on subsidies are expected soon. [E2]

New Jersey Democrats introduce resolution to stop Christie from pulling out of RGGI. Assemblymembers “introduced a resolution that would protect funding sources for clean energy and support New Jersey’s membership in RGGI, a 10-state carbon emissions cap and trade program to reduce greenhouse gasses in the region 10 percent by 2018.” [NJ Herald]

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