Clean Start: April 3, 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?

Holding makeshift windmills crafted from glowsticks and paper, hundreds of students and activists joined hands, forming a circle around the State House in Annapolis last night in a show of support for alternative energy sources. [Washington Post]

Total, the French oil company, said Monday that a natural gas leak off the coast of Scotland was costing it $2.5 million a day and that it was too early to say when it could be stopped. [NYT]

Opower has teamed with Facebook, energy conservation advocates and the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group, on a new app. The software will allow interested parties in 20 million households served by 16 utilities across the nation to post their energy use on their Facebook pages. [NYT]


During the course of March, large chunks of the U.S. experienced spells of warm weather unmatched in recorded history. More than 7,700 daily record high temperatures were set (or tied, compared to just 287 record lows), in some cases by mind blowing margins and over multiple days. [Washington Post]

The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday announced its approval of 24 companies to offer a blend that is 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline. [Star Tribune]

The promise of using algae to make biofuels — a dream scientists have chased for decades — might seem particularly welcome in a time of stubbornly high gasoline prices. Now, one of these companies, Solazyme, is about to take a step toward large-scale fuel production. [NYT]

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is set to announce an automated system for tracking onshore drilling applications, which will be able to better monitor permits at every step of the federal review process and quickly flag those with missing or incomplete information. [Houston Chronicle]