Clean Start: March 26, 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 heavy band of rain moved across Los Angeles County, and triggered warnings from the National Weather Service of possible localized ponding and flooding across the Southland, turning the Los Angeles River into a raging torrent. [Patch Studio City]

Missing from President Obama’s speech on Keystone XL in Cushing, OK, and from most recent discussions of the controversial project was any mention of climate change or the greenhouse gas emissions associated with mining Canadian tar sands. [Inside Climate News]

A 20-acre wildfire near Chimayo, New Mexico has forced some residents to evacuate and threatened 100 homes. [AP]

Italian renewable power company Enel Green has earmarked global spending of 6.1 billion euros ($8 billion) through 2016 to add 4.5 gigawatts of installed capacity in countries like Morocco, South Africa and Turkey. [Businessweek]


Eighteen months after their community was washed away by floods, residents of sandy Tsaro village, a mere 20 minutes motorcycle ride to Niger Republic, are still counting their losses. [All Africa]

A new report from the Institute for Local Self Reliance suggests that within 10 years, 100 million Americans in the nation’s largest cities could get cheaper electricity from rooftop solar — without subsidies — than that provided by their utility. [MPR]

Following the prevalence of heat wave in Lagos State and other parts of Nigeria in the past two weeks, the Lagos State Government has urged residents to reduce the time they stay in the sun by staying indoors more. [All Africa]

The ship formerly known as the Exxon Valdez, responsible for one of the worst oil spills in U.S. history, appears destined for the scrap heap in a shipyard along the Indian Gulf of Cambay. [AP]

Scotland continues to bask in spring sunshine as forecasters predict that temperatures could match the new record for March set on Sunday. [Fife Today]

A North Sea drilling platform was completely evacuated overnight following a gas leak earlier on Sunday. [BBC]

Six months after Gov. Andrew Cuomo viewed the remains of the Keene firehouse after Tropical Storm Irene, the Adirondack town is making progress on replacing the wrecked building. [AP]


Pipeline executive: “The facts show the lack of drilling for oil is not the problem, nor the cause of high gasoline prices,” but “greed by the multinational oil companies and their investors” is “a big factor.” [Star Press]

As global warming accelerates, the stands of old-growth trees on local public forestlands could help save our bacon. [Mail Tribune]

For two days, tomorrow and March 28, lawmakers will subject Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s lieutenants to a grilling on the agency’s $27.2 billion budget for 2013. Programs for advanced research along with energy efficiency and renewable energy account for the biggest percentage increase in spending. [Businessweek]

A new study suggests climate scientists may have underestimated the effect of greenhouse gases, with global temperatures now predicted to rise by between 1.4 and 3 degrees Celsius by 2050–50 years faster than previously expected. [ABC Melbourne]

Minnesota’s U.S. senators, Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, blame speculators in the financial markets for driving up gas prices. [Minnesota Daily News]

The Mississippi Development Authority in the final days of the Haley Barbour administration offered up rules for leasing state waters for oil and gas drilling. [Sun Herald]


Sinopec Corp., one of China’s three major state-owned oil companies, said Monday its 2011 profit rose just 2 percent despite a double-digit surge in sales as government price controls limited its ability to pass on surging crude costs. [Washington Post]