Clean Start: August 30, 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?

— Flooding across parts of the East Coast is still a major issue after Hurricane Irene as the death toll rises to 40 across seven states, and thousands have found themselves stranded and without electricity for days to come. [ABC]

— A clean energy revolution is under way in the United States but isn’t happening quickly enough, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday. Reid told reporters in advance of a clean energy summit in Las Vegas that the country is still too dependent on foreign oil and needs to change that to help national defense and the economy. [AP]

— House GOP leadership on Monday outlined plans to delay or kill a suite of environmental rules in coming months, signaling an expansion of legislative and political attacks against regulations that business groups call burdensome. [E2Wire]

— Ground ozone levels in the U.S. Midwest could reduce soybean yields by10 percent, costing more than $1 billion in lost crop production, U.S. scientists say. [UPI]

— Three weeks ago, with crude oil prices plummeting and the stock market in turmoil due to the U.S. debt downgrade, experts foresaw a steady decline in gas prices for consumers. Indeed, prices dipped for a while, but now, after the national average price rose 5¢ per gallon over the past week, the typical gallon at the pump costs just 2¢ less than when those predictions were made. [TIME]

— The earthquake that prompted the shutdown of a Virginia nuclear power plant last week may have been more severe than the plant’s reactors were designed to withstand, federal regulators said. [E2Wire]

— America’s energy future can’t be unlocked as simply as Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann makes it sound when she depicts the nation as the “king daddy dogs” of energy. Even if environmentalists folded and Washington regulators got out of the way, much of the energy is too expensive for companies to develop. [AP]

— Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe formally endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president today, saying his fellow Republican has the right combination of executive experience and know-how about government regulations to beat President Obama. [USA Today]

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