Clean Start: February 28, 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?

BP investors said progress toward a settlement with the victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster signals a share-price rebound, closing the $44 billion gap with the company’s value before the worst U.S. oil spill. [Bloomberg]

SoCore Energy, a commercial-scale solar installer in Chicago, has raised $4 million in its third round of funding. []

The Chinese government has set new targets for domestic growth in the solar power sector under its latest five-year plan. [UPI]

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittees of Energy and Power, and Environment and the Economy, hold a hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency budget request for Fiscal Year 2013 today, where EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will testify. [C-SPAN]

Newt Gingrich is wrong on energy policy, says Kate Brandt. []

Gas prices continued to climb on Tuesday, inching closer to $4 a gallon as they rose for the 21st day in a row. [CNN]

Transocean Ltd took a $1 billion charge related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the clearest indication yet that the contract driller is preparing to settle the case. [Reuters]

Diseases including the Schmallenberg virus will become more prevalent in UK livestock unless something is done to reduce the effects of climate change, experts have warned. [Farmers Guardian]

TransCanada Corp. said Monday it would seek to start building the southern segment of its Keystone XL pipeline while it prepares to file a new application for U.S. approval of a cross-border pipeline to import Canadian crude oil. [My San Antonio]

The newly formed Climate Change and Shoreline Preservation task force is planning how it can best investigate the ways Connecticut can adapt to rising sea levels and guard against future storms. [The Republic]

Higher energy consumption and warmer weather drove up total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 3.3 percent to 6.866 billion tons between 2009 and 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in its latest emissions inventory report released Monday. [Reuters]

Brad Plumer writes about the court challenges to the EPA’s climate rules. [Ezra Klein]

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