Clean Start: March 12, 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?

Greenland’s ice sheet is more sensitive to global warming than previously thought and may already be approaching a critical threshold, researchers in Spain and Germany found. [The Age]

F. Sherwood Rowland, the UC Irvine chemistry professor who warned the world that man-made chemicals could erode the ozone layer, died Saturday at his home in Corona del Mar. [LA TimesChevron is being sued for more than $11 billion by Brazilian prosecutors, after it spilled at least 2,400 barrels of oil offshore Brazil. [Reuters]

Two environmental groups are rolling out a large-scale advertising campaign to bring problems connected to industrial carbon pollution to light. [Public News Service]

Drought conditions are expected to spread across more of England in coming weeks, unless strong rains arrive.

The EPA is expected to announce new rules to clear the haze and save lives this week. [Public News Service]

Some upstate New York communities are getting “smart growth” help from the Environmental Protection Agency. [WSJ]

The Keystone XL pipeline could hold both political opportunity and peril for Democrat Bob Kerrey’s U.S. Senate campaign in Nebraska. [Omaha World-Herald] The UK’s Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has again offered a vigorous defense of Britain’s renewable energy policy, insisting it would prove a “monumental national folly” for the government to scale back its ambitions for wind farms and other forms of low carbon energy. [Business Green]


Oil giants BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. and Conoco Phillips Alaska told the state’s Senate Resources Committee there are projects the companies could do on Alaska’s North Slope to increase oil drilling, but they want lower taxes. [Petroleum News]

The federal and Alberta governments struck up a secret, high-level committee in early 2010 to coordinate the promotion of the tar sands with Canada’s most powerful industry lobby group, a document obtained through an access to information request reveals. [The Star]

Gasoline prices — already over $4 per gallon in some states — are a significant factor in the cost equation for students, families and others taking spring break vacations. [Indy Star]

Germany is capable of producing as much solar energy as the rest of the world together, but now the German government is proposing dramatic cuts in subsidies for solar panels. [IPS News]

Ridership on the nation’s trains and buses hit one of the highest levels in decades, with officials crediting high gas prices, a stronger economy and new technology that makes riding public transit easier. [CNN] The owners of the Homer City Generating Station, located 50 miles east of Pittsburgh, are aiming to spend more than $700 million on equipment to strip emissions of sulfur and other pollutants from the 43-year-old coal-fired power plant to meet pending federal rules. [WSJ]