Clean Start: February 8, 2012

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"Clean Start: February 8, 2012"

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 toll from Europe’s winter weather edged past 360 Monday when snow- and rain-swollen rivers burst a Bulgarian dam and killed at least eight, while more homeless people perished on frigid city streets. [The Australian]

More heavy rain stretching to the south-east of New South Wales, Australia is predicted until Saturday, prompting new flood warnings and hampering efforts to clean up areas already washed out. [Sydney Morning Herald]

The five so-called “super major” oil companies — Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips,Chevron and BP– have just wrapped up their fourth quarter earnings reports, but not without inspiring disdain over how they made those billions in profits and over what they were doing with them. [LA Times]

Rockland Capital was the winning bidder at an auction last week for assets of Beacon Power Corp., which makes flywheel energy storage systems that keep power frequency steady on electrical grids. [AP]

“Coal is naturally going to come down, natural gas will be the choice, but they’re really marginal,” said Nick Akins, president and chief executive officer of American Electric Power. “Once technology is proven, you’ll start to see coal come back. We still need coal . . . . If someone is trying to eliminate that, it’s just not going to happen.” [Charleston Gazette]

The severe tropical cyclone Jasmine is causing problems for Vanuatu’s southern islands. [ABC Asia]

Oil rose to its highest in a week in New York after a report showed U.S. stockpiles shrank, indicating increased demand in the US. [Bloomberg]

Two years after the unstoppable Deepwater Horizon spill, BP profits and plans for more exploits. [NYT]

Smoke from a fast-moving wildfire in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu closed the country’s only international airport for more than an hour on Tuesday, aviation officials said. [BNO News]

Greenpeace today released the latest version of its Cool IT Leaderboard, tracking progress among 21 IT companies in embracing green energy for their own operations as well as advocating for policies that promote clean energy use worldwide. [GreenBiz.com]

For the fourth straight year, the city of Houston is the U.S. leader in the amount of green energy it buys and uses. [Transportation Nation]

A bipartisan group from Colorado’s congressional delegation is calling for the extension of the wind-energy-production tax credit to be added to the bill extending the payroll-tax cuts. [Denver Post]

Lawmakers in South Korea voted to impose greenhouse-gas limits on the nation’s largest companies, overruling industry opposition and laying groundwork for the third emissions-trading program in the Asia-Pacific region. [Bloomberg]

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