Clean Start: January 11, 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 Sherpa who has climbed Mount Everest a record 21 times will trek hundreds of miles along some of the world’s highest mountains to highlight the impact of climate change on the Himalayas. [Reuters]

Global investors controlling tens of trillions of dollars will gather Thursday at United Nations headquarters to showcase investments in clean energy and energy efficiency solutions. [Mercury News]

Climate change in the form of reduced snowfall in mountains is causing powerful and cascading shifts in mountainous plant and bird communities through the increased ability of elk to stay at high elevations over winter and consume plants, according to a groundbreaking study in Nature Climate Change. [Science Daily]


Business groups are attacking the use of cap-and-trade revenues to fund clean energy investment in California. [LA Times]

Sempra Energy and BP Plc will spend $1 billion to build new wind power farms this year in Pennsylvania and Kansas with a total output capacity of 560 megawatts, the companies said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s administrative stay on a rule that sets air toxics standards for boilers and commercial solid waste incinerators. [ENS]

Alpha Natural Resources Inc. has settled all remaining wrongful-death lawsuits with the families of coal miners killed in a 2010 explosion that was the worst U.S. mining accident in four decades. [WSJ]

In a recent two-year time frame, contributions to current members of the House of Representatives from individuals and PACs connected to the oil & gas industry have totaled nearly $12 million. [Maplight]


During calendar year 2011, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held 32 onshore oil and gas lease sales, selling off nearly 4 million acres for $256 million, 20 percent above 2010. [BLM]

Oil producers and mining companies were battening down ahead of a tropical cyclone headed for the coast of Western Australia’s iron-ore-rich Pilbara region, with ports shutting down and ordering ships to anchor at sea. [WSJ]

Connecticut’s utilities need to fix the “toxic relationship” between labor and management and improve their worst-case planning and staffing for major storms, according to recommendations released Monday by the governor’s panel, which examined responses to and preparations for Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm. [AP]

In total, a record 17 separate billion-dollar climate disasters were recorded in the U.S. in 2011. [Insurance Journal]

City roads were flooded and thousands of Houston residents lost power Monday after powerful thunderstorms plowed through the area, with a possible tornado damaging and shutting down a nearby mall. [AP]

Katharine Hayhoe is now a figure of some fame and controversy in the United States, for her sin is that she is an evangelical Christian who is also a climate scientist trying to convince skeptics that climate change is for real. [Globe and Mail]


More than half the fish caught Monday by Press-Register reporters in the surf off Dauphin Island had bloody red lesions on their bodies. The fish live in the turbulent surf zone, where much of BP’s oil ended up. [Press Register]