Clean Start: October 21, 2011

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?

— The Environmental Protection Agency said it planned to regulate wastewater discharged by companies producing natural gas from shale formations, including chemically laced water used in a controversial extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing. [Los Angeles Times]

— Back in 2010, Richard Muller, a Berkeley physicist and self-proclaimed climate skeptic, decided to launch the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project to review the temperature data that underpinned global-warming claims. Remember, this was not long after the Climategate affair had erupted, at a time when skeptics were griping that climatologists had based their claims on faulty temperature data. [Washington Post]

— Like Detroit automakers taking on the Japanese a generation ago, the seven American solar panel makers that filed a trade case on Wednesday against China might find that a legal victory, if it comes, may not translate into business success. [New York Times]


— Duke Energy Corp. said Thursday that it will take a $220 million charge against earnings to cover some of the huge cost of building its marquee “clean coal” power plant in Indiana. [Wall Street Journal]

— The Senate late Thursday evening voted to confirm controversial Obama nominee John Bryson to lead Department of Commerce. Several Republicans expressed their opposition to the confirmation in a tepid floor debate that was scheduled for four hours but lasted for less than two. The major complaint against Bryson revolved around his support for cap-and-trade legislation and his role in founding a major environmental group in the 1970s. [The Hill]

— Fifteen months after a similar effort died in Congress, California regulators adopted a system on Thursday for combating climate change that sets limits on greenhouse gas emissions and creates market incentives to encourage oil refineries, electricity generators and other polluters to clean up their plants. [New York Times]