Clean Start: January 3, 2012

Welcome back to a new year of Clean Start, ThinkProgress Green’s morning round-up of the latest in climate and clean energy. Here is what we’re reading.

The Supreme Court has taken up a case over property rights of landowners to challenge the EPA in court. The dispute is over a residential lot in Idaho, and whether the owners can build on it given its EPA classification as wetlands. [LA Times]

Authorities are investigating whether fracking caused a series of earthquakes in Ohio last year, which an expert says “almost certainly” caused the quakes. The company stopped injecting the wastewater into the earth on Friday, but it may take a year until the effects dissipate. [AP]

A federal court Friday put on hold an Obama administration regulation of cross-state pollution, aimed at reducing power plant pollution in 27 states that contribute to unhealthy air. [Washington Post]


The legal battle over whether BP or its contractor Halliburton is to blame for the disastrous Deepwater Horizon spill last year continues, with BP now asking Halliburton to pay all damages and costs. [BBC]

Mitt Romney disparaged fuel-efficient cars, calling the Chevy Volt’s plug-in hybrid an “idea whose time has not come.” [Mother Nature Network]

So far, California’s wet season is completely dry, which has caused concern shared by farmers and ski resorts. [WSJ]

Brazil has fined Chevron Corp. for a third time for improper handling of an offshore oil leak last month. [Bloomberg]

University of Michigan researchers say acid rain caused by pollution continues to threaten sugar maple trees, as “blind spots” in the Clean Air Act fail to fully control the problem. [Toledo Blade]


How can solar energy be any use when it’s dark out? The industry is set to address that, by developing new storage technology, the New York Times reports. [NYT]

Nigerian villagers are protesting against Shell for a crude oil spill that locals say has harmed their coast and killed their fish. Shell has denied responsibility for the oil, despite an oil spill offshore last month. [MSNBC]