Clean Start: February 21, 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?

Authorities received more than 300 calls for help as flash flooding hit Sydney and the New South Wales south coast in Australia last night. [ABC]

An America-led plan to try tackling short-lived greenhouse gases, announced on February 16th, is not a breakthrough; but it is progress. [The Economist]

China probably won’t allow United Nations carbon credits in its cap-and-trade program unless they are approved by a domestic regulator, according to an official at the Shanghai Environment & Energy Exchange. [Bloomberg]

Gas prices should be largely a byproduct of presidential policy—not its aim. [Time]

Chilean authorities say flooding from heavy rains dislodged anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, floating two of the explosive devices onto the Pan-American Highway near the border with Peru. [AP]

With the start of the high-profile oil disaster trial set for next Monday, and the specter of potential liability that some experts have estimated at $40 billion, BP and other defendants are stepping up negotiations to end the litigation before Judge Carl J. Barbier of Federal District Court picks up his gavel. [NYT]

AAA says the average gas price nationwide was $3.56 on Sunday, up five cents in a week, and the pain is expected to get worse in the next few months. []

Part of the House transportation legislation that passed Thursday would not just allow but require opening the California, Florida and east coasts to oil and gas drilling to help pay for highways. It would also open the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling and many Western states to shale-oil extraction, a highly water-intensive process. [SF Chronicle]

The Bureau of Land Management has recommended 237,100 acres of public land in Arizona are suitable for renewable energy development, part of an effort to speed up the process for clean-energy companies looking to set up shop in the state. [AZ Capitol Times]

Adapting the techniques it uses to transform steel sheets into tanks of 15,000 gallons or more, oil-tank company Mass Tank Sales Corp. will make 20-story towers that support wind turbine blades. [Boston Globe]

The United States and Mexico reached an agreement Monday to cooperate on oil and gas development in waters along the nations’ maritime border in the Gulf of Mexico. [My San Antonio]

Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ECD), a player in the solar and alternative energy space, became the latest green energy firm to file for bankruptcy last week. [Epoch Times]

Fears of $5 per gallon gasoline are in the back of some motorists’ minds, jeopardizing the nascent economic recovery and fueling campaign rhetoric during a presidential election year. [Chicago Tribune]

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