OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Romney takes momentum to coal country

Romney has criticized air pollution rules from the Environmental Protection Agency, while defenders say Romney and other Republicans want to gut vital public health protections.


NEWS BITES:

Romney green energy claims assailed

Mitt Romney has come under fire for significantly overstating the share of federally backed green energy companies that have failed.

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The former Massachusetts governor, at Wednesday night's debate, said “about half” of the Obama administration-backed companies have gone out of business.

Indeed, several ventures — most famously the solar company Solyndra — have gone under or faced bankruptcy reorganization. But it’s much less than half of the companies that have received loan guarantees or other aid.

Stephen Lacey of the Center for American Progress Action Fund called Romney’s claim “one of the most blatant lies of the night,” while the League of Conservation Voters said Romney came to the debate “equipped with his own facts” on energy.

The Romney campaign, in a statement, said he was referring to a number of the first seven companies that received loans under a stimulus law-backed Energy Department loan guarantee program.

Solyndra and Abound Solar both went under.

Beacon Power, an energy storage company, went into bankruptcy but was acquired by Rockland Capital in a deal that will allow repayment of most of its loan and allow the company to remain in operation.

The Romney campaign also cited headwinds facing Nevada Geothermal Power Co.

However, the Energy Department’s overall loan guarantee portfolio is much, much wider than those seven companies. A list of the projects is available here.

Justice Dept. warned on BP spill settlement

Several Gulf Coast lawmakers are warning Attorney General Eric Holder against reaching a settlement with BP that they argue will bring their states less direct compensation than Congress intended.

Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), in a letter to Holder Thursday, spell out fears that not enough money in the potential settlement will go into Clean Water Act (CWA) penalties.

Eighty percent of those penalties are slated to be steered to Gulf states harmed by the spill.

But the letter cites press reports that the Justice Department is working on a settlement that will include both CWA fines and separate Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) penalties.

“While a global settlement approach may not be problematic in and of itself, we are, in the strongest possible terms, opposed to a settlement agreement that disproportionately applies penalties to NRDA over the CWA. Any attempt to do so would be viewed as an effort to circumvent the will of Congress and the President,” states the letter, which was also signed by a number of House members.

Click here to read the whole thing.


ON TAP FRIDAY:

Pew forum explores green energy

The Pew Charitable Trusts is convening a major forum in Washington, D.C., titled “Innovate, Manufacture, Compete: A Clean Energy Action Plan.” Click here for more.

Brookings forum looks at Japan’s energy future

The Brookings Institution will look at the future of Japanese energy in the wake of the country's nuclear crisis. Speakers include Toshikazu Okuya, a special adviser with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. More info here.

Obama and Romney debate again – sort of

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology will host a debate on energy between surrogates for President Obama and Mitt Romney. More here.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Over the last day, E2-Wire provided in-depth coverage of the first presidential debate and more. Check out these items:

- Climate change absent from first debate
- Romney open to nixing oil industry tax breaks
- Obama, Romney trade jabs on energy
- Oil groups weigh in on Romney tax plan
- Alaskan gas export plans take a step forward

Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com, and Zack Colman, zcolman@thehill.com.

Follow E2 on Twitter: @E2Wire, @Ben_Geman, @zcolman