Clean Start: August 19, 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?

A violent wind and hailstorm hit a major outdoor rock music festival in northern Belgium on Thursday, killing at least three people and injuring 40 others, local officials said. [AFP]

An out-of-control forest fire whipped up by strong winds and high summer temperature has devastated a large area of the Calblanque natural park and forced thousands of people to flee their homes in the eastern Spanish region of Murcia. [Reuters]

Governors from several states affected by this year’s historic overflow of the Missouri River were set to meet Friday to discuss ways to avoid a repeat of the destructive floodwaters that submerged thousands of acres of farmland and forced residents from their homes, but discussion of climate change is unlikely. [AP]

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the federal offshore drilling regulator, was looking into reports of an oil sheen in the Gulf of Mexico 100 miles south of the Louisiana coast, a bureau spokeswoman said. [Reuters]

Houston is suffering through its worst drought in decades, and the misery is being compounded by a plague of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus, infestations of fleas, and a cascade of bursting water pipes that are spilling the city’s precious water supply. [ABC News]

A subsidiary of Houston-based ConocoPhillips said on Friday that more than 85 percent of oil-based mud from its oil spill in China’s Bohai Bay had been recovered and vowed to finish the cleanup by the end of this month. [Reuters]

Pollutant measurements have revealed that Italy is grossly underreporting its HFC-23 greenhouse gas emissions. [Science Daily]

A band of showers has offered some relief to parched areas from Kansas to Mississippi, but the historic drought causing billions of dollars in losses in the South is showing no signs of abating soon. [Reuters]

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