News bites: Former Issa staffer’s group aids lawsuit against DOE over green car loans

The Washington Post reports on litigation filed against the Energy Department over a controversial loan program. From the story:

An electric car start-up and its sister company sued the Energy Department on Thursday, claiming Secretary Steven Chu and his agency awarded money to politically favored firms and strung along their firms and others in a “fixed” race for federal funds.

In addition to complaints of cronyism, XP Vehicles and Limnia said they have evidence suggesting the Energy Department improperly shared their patented technology with competing companies that won federal funding. 

Dan Epstein, former GOP counsel for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, heads Cause of Action, the group that helped the companies file the lawsuit. The committee’s chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), has been a strong critic of DOE loan programs.

The Houston Chronicle reports that EPA has “rapped Shell Oil Co. for violating the terms of air pollution permits governing emissions from its drilling rigs and support vessels operating in Arctic waters last year.”

MarketWatch looks at why natural-gas giant Chesapeake Energy’s stock keeps falling.

Japanese officials are establishing a new fund to promote green-energy projects and seek private-sector investment, Bloomberg reports.