Clean Start: July 26, 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 UN World Food Program is to airlift emergency rations to parts of drought-ravaged Somalia, in a desperate attempt to reach hungry refugees. [SkyNews]

House lawmakers are expected to vote today on legislation that would force President Obama to make a decision in the coming months on whether to approve the climate-polluting Keystone XL tar sands pipeline project. [E2]

The Inspector General of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) released a new report showing that coal ash holding sites at several TVA-owned coal-fired power plants has managed to contaminate groundwater. [DeSmogBlog]

The recent heat wave in the Chicago area has now claimed 12 lives. [WBEZ]

At least six deaths in Philadelphia are being blamed on last week’s scorching temperatures. [AP]

A third death related to last week’s heat wave has been confirmed by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel]

An 86-year-old woman whose air conditioning was not working properly has become St. Louis’s fourth heat-related death, officials said Monday. [STLToday]

The smallest U.S. hay crop in more than a century is withering under a record Texas drought, boosting the cost of livestock feed for dairy farmers and beef producers from California to Maryland. [Bloomberg]

With heat unrelentingly beating down on Central Texas, shrinking, dried-out soils are emerging as a threat to infrastructure. [Austin Statesman]

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