Clean Start: September 22, 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?

In lobbying for a presidential permit to construct a massive tar sands pipeline stretching from Canada to the Gulf Coast, TransCanada’s Paul Elliott — a former campaign official for now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — has tried nearly every angle. [Washington Post]

Between March and August, BP’s PAC made more than $50,000 in federal-level campaign contributions, ranking it among the cycle’s more generous donors. [Politico]

Austin is in the middle of its worst smog season in five years, and Texas has seven of the smoggiest metropolitan areas in the country, according to an environmental study released Wednesday. [Austin Statesman]

Over the weekend more than 100 Shuar indigenous people, also known as Wampis, blockaded the Morona River in Peru in an effort to stop exploratory oil drilling by Canadian-owned Talisman Energy. [MongaBay]

Fearing another blow to a still-fragile housing market, real estate agents are pushing Congress to grant a long-term extension to the National Flood Insurance Program, which is set to expire this month for the 10th time in two years. [SoMdNews]