Clean Start: December 6, 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 large wildfire is raging in Bulgaria’s Pirin mountain in the municipality of Yakoruda. [Novinite]

In the three weeks since the State Department decided to re-evaluate the environmental impact of the proposed route of Transcanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, the focus of the pipeline debate has shifted from Nebraska, where a broad coalition of activists, landowners, and politicians from both parties effectively stopped construction of the pipeline over the state’s sensitve Sand Hills region and forced the Obama administration to reconsider its approval of the project in general, to Texas, where Transcanda (and a competitor, Enbridge) are trying to rush construction of the southern section of the pipeline. [Burnt Orange Report]

A day of record rainfall has closed water-logged streets throughout Ohio and is pushing rivers out of their banks for the second time in a week. [AP]

New flood warnings were issued Monday for several northwest Ohio rivers while flooding continued along others after another round of rain in the region. [Toledo Blade]

A storm system that settled on Louisville, Kentucky and refused to budge has officially bumped 2011 into the record books as the city’s wettest with a total of 65.4 inches — and counting. [Louisville Courier-Journal]

Swiss Re said Tuesday it expected claims costs of $600 million from the severe flooding in Thailand, higher than analysts expected and marking a costly end to a year that has been heavy on natural catastrophes, ranging from floods to earthquakes to a devastating tsunami in Japan in March. [WSJ]

Bryan Walsh: “Coal is cheap and coal is plentiful — but if we can’t turn away from it, our fate is pretty much sealed.” [Time]

Despite headwinds elsewhere in the world, Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems is certainly making the most of Australia’s drive to use more clean energy. [WSJ]

A Gulf Coast task force appointed by President Obama recommended on Monday that a “significant portion” of the billions of dollars in fines that BP is expected to pay for last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill go to ecological restoration. [NY Times]

Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday urged Republicans running for president to do more to encourage investment in renewable energy, and pledged to be a “cheerleader” for the issue. [LA Times]

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