Clean Start: February 2, 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?

Thousands of people have been evacuated as floodwaters threaten dozens of towns across northern New South Wales in Australia. [Herald Sun]

House Republicans who have spent a year pushing bills to thwart or delay Environmental Protection Agency greenhouse gas rules are trying a new tactic: Simply asking the White House to scuttle them. [The Hill]

The Clean-Tech Investors Summit kicked off Wednesday with chairman Ira Ehrenpreis issuing a call to action — for continued innovation and investment in the field to counter the ongoing absence of a national energy policy in the U.S. []


Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is heading to Baltimore to announce a major step toward developing wind energy off the coasts of Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and New Jersey. [Washington Post]

A judge ruled that BP must cover some of the direct damage claims awarded against Halliburton for the $40 billion in cleanup costs and economic losses caused by the 2010 oil well explosion and Gulf of Mexico spill. [NYT]

On Wednesday Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) announced he discussed offshore oil and gas exploration with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, but he appears to be banking on Congress to speed up oil drilling in waters off Virginia’s coast. [The Republic]

The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has become a centerpiece of the Republican economic and political agenda, and the party’s preferred truncheon against President Obama. [NYT]

A House committee Wednesday passed three measures to boost domestic oil and gas drilling, and Republicans prepared to attach them to a $260 billion transportation package, the latest sign energy policy is becoming an election-year battleground. [WSJ]


Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia are trying to top each other with the sweetest package of tax breaks for Shell Oil, which plans to build a huge new petrochemical refinery in the region. [Fox News]