Clean Start: January 25, 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?

Coral Davenport: “By framing new fossil-fuel drilling as a job-creator, Obama is taking a page from the playbook of his political opponents and trying to blunt their attacks that he has blocked jobs in the energy industry.” [National Journal]

Michelle Malkin: “Obama’s State of the Union address defiantly pitched a new round of clean-energy spending orgies to help the ‘middle class.’” [National Review]

Hydraulic fracturing, the process of injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to free gas trapped in rock, could create more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade, Obama said yesterday. [Bloomberg]


Boehner’s decision to invite backers of the controversial $7 billion, 1,700 mile Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is meant to hammer home Republican opposition to Mr. Obama’s decision to block the construction of the trans-national pipeline, which would link the tar sands fields of northern Alberta to oil refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. [CBS News]

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) is getting close to unveiling a proposed “clean” electric power standard — a plan President Obama admitted Tuesday night has not gained the traction that Obama had hoped. [The Hill]

Tropical Cyclone Funso strengthened to an extremely dangerous Category 4 on Tuesday as it swirls off the coast of southern Africa between Mozambique and Madagascar, and has killed at least 12 people so far. [Post Newsweek]

“EPA is just another example of what can happen to the government in general when the government isn’t trusted,” former Republican EPA administrator William Ruckelshaus said. [Politico]

Central Texas was deluged with heavy storms, strong winds and hail overnight, and it’s not over yet: the region remains under a flash flood warning and a tornado watch until later this morning. [Austin-American Statesman]


Survivors of Hurricane Katrina have struggled with poor mental health for years after the storm, according to a new study of low-income mothers in the New Orleans area. [Medical Xpress]

Australians have been warned to prepare for a further week of wild weather with the possibility of a cyclone forming in north Queensland in the coming days.

The future of solar subsidies for companies operating in Europe’s biggest renewable energy market will take shape today when German lawmakers debate the opposing views of two members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet. [Bloomberg]

“Apart from the fact that we took 36 hours longer than we expected, I actually think Durban will be proven by history to be the most encompassing and farthest reaching agreements that any climate conference has ever reached,” said Christiana Figueres, the Costa Rican diplomat who leads the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the body that oversees the negotiations. [NYT]

Woodside Petroleum and Apache Corp said on Wednesday they have suspended some oil production off Australia’s northwest coast as a tropical low threatens to develop into a cyclone. [Reuters]

Representatives from around the world gather in Rio in June to try to hammer out goals for sustainable development at a U.N. conference designed to avoid being tripped up by the intractable issue of climate change. [Reuters]