Clean Start: March 6, 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?

A winter snow storm added to the woes on Monday of tornado-struck Indiana and Kentucky, dropping several inches of snow on the ravaged region where dozens of people were killed, meteorologists said. [Reuters]

TransCanada says it has most of the state permits it needs to build the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, but no one knows which federal agency will oversee the project’s final environmental review. [Inside Climate News]

At least 77 people in southeastern Africa have been killed and more are still missing as Tropical Cyclone Irina sweeps through the region. [Al Jazeera]

China — which dominates the global trade in just about every commodity including iron ore (representing 47% of world trade), copper (38%), coal (47%), nickel (36%), lead (44%), zinc (41%) — delivered a downbeat outlook for 2012 growth, sending mining stocks reeling. []

Hampered by the lack of U.S. industrial policy, the push to make Elkhart, IN, the capital of American electric car manufacture has hit a roadbump. [NPR]

Since 2010, Chinese companies have invested more than $17 billion into oil and gas deals in the U.S. and Canada. [WSJ]

Newt Gingrich, whose well-developed sense of sarcasm always goes over well with his Republican supporters, was on a roll Monday evening as mocked Obama’s algae energy comments as “Cloud Cuckoo Land.” [LA Times]

Google is stepping up wind-power purchases to reduce emissions, even as it devotes most of its renewable energy investments to sun-related projects, a trade-off aimed at reining in costs as the company seeks higher returns. [Businessweek]

Republican lawmakers are moving to grab control of energy policy from state utility regulators in a political turf fight over the future of Arizona’s solar power industry. [AP]

Nine Republican attorneys general have launched lawsuits against the White House over regulating cross-state utility emissions and battling foreign species in the Great Lakes. [Detroit News]

According to some climate scientists, earlier-than-normal outbreaks of tornadoes, which typically peak in the spring, will become the norm as the planet warms. [Reuters]

Asked by a 700 Club viewer yesterday why God sent the tornadoes, Pat Robertson explained that “if enough people were praying He would’ve intervened, you could pray, Jesus stilled the storm, you can still storms.” [Newser]

When it comes to the controversial gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, the Republican Party itself appears fractured — especially in the critical swing state of Ohio. [AP]

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