Clean Start: January 20, 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?

Using state-of-the-art chemical forensics and a bit of old-fashioned detective work, a research team led by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution confirmed that mysterious honeycomb material was found floating in the Gulf of Mexico and along coastal beaches were pieces of material used to maintain buoyancy of the Deepwater Horizon pipe bringing up oil from the seafloor. [Science Daily]

Heavy rains that began overnight Tuesday and poured steadily on Wednesday triggered floods throughout western Oregon on Thursday, with high water pouring over roads throughout Benton County and soggy ground helping to create landslides, downed trees and other weather mayhem. [Corvallis Gazette-Times]

Kerri-Ann Jones, assistant secretary of state for oceans and international environment and scientific affairs, will testify next week at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. [The Hill]


A raging wildfire pushed by high winds raced across a tinder-dry landscape south of Reno on Thursday, destroying an undetermined number of homes and other buildings as firefighters raced to save property in harm’s way. [USA Today]

Last year’s Texas wildfire season killed ten people, destroyed nearly 4 million acres and 4,000 homes and other structures, making it the most destructive season ever. [AP]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that it will deliver fresh water to four homes in a northeastern Pennsylvania village where residential water wells were tainted by a gas driller. [ABC News]

Former BP chief executive Tony Hayward, financier Nathaniel Rothschild and former banker Julian Metherell will share a 158 million pound ($244 million) payout after exercising a right to a 6.67 percent stake in Genel Energy, the oil group they founded last year. [Reuters]

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) said cutting taxes and securing approval for the massive Keystone XL pipeline are top congressional priorities this year and the Montana Democrat expressed optimism that deals can be reached despite the recent bitter partisan stalemates. [FuelFix]


Filmed over the past two years and across nine countries, Greedy Lying Bastards claims to be a “searing indictment of the influence, deceit and corruption that defines the fossil fuel industry.” [Guardian]

The administration of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has cut funding for a wildlife research program by nearly 70 percent, eliminating state money for projects meant to examine the impact of natural gas drilling and climate change, according to a report. [York Daily Record]

By May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will have set annual catch limits for every federally managed fish species, more than 500 in all. [New York Times]