Clean Start: Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Welcome to 2011’s last 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?

More than 1,000 have been announced dead in last week’s flash flood in the Philippines. Authorities say they have lost count of how many are missing. [AP]

In China, a town’s residents protested a coal-fired plant because of its damage to their health. In response, police fired tear gas and beat the demonstrators on Tuesday, reportedly killing a teenage boy in the crackdown, residents told the AFP. [AFP]

After 40 years, BP announces it will shutter its solar units, affecting 36 employees in the U.S. [Fox News]

A few weeks away from leaving office, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) proposed regulations that would allow off-shore drilling in the Gulf a mile from the coast, which would potentially make the oil rigs visible from the shore. [Sun Herald]

News Corp. ranks among the “most green” and environmentally proactive corporations, although its products – particularly Fox News – stir much of the climate confusion in the U.S. The Guardian writes what green rankings fail to account for is a company’s lobbying and activism, which could undermine any gains it makes in green management. [The Guardian]

Yesterday, the Obama administration approved several renewable energy projects in the West and pushed for offshore windpower in the Atlantic. [Washington Post]

Google investment in clean energy projects nears $1 billion with the latest announcement it will help build solar panels in California. Although Google has shut down its in-house research in clean tech, it doesn’t mean the tech giant has abandoned clean energy. [Gigaom]

Finally, even Canada doesn’t believe its own spin about its tar sands. While in public, administrators say the tar sands are “sustainable,” in private they find there is “no credible scientific information” to support their claims. [The Guardian]

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