Chattanooga gas prices unchanged last week but may head higher and other business news

Chattanooga gas prices stable but likely to rise

Gasoline prices in Chattanooga were unchanged last week but may head higher in the coming weeks after OPEC+ nations said they plan to curb oil production to boost prices.

The average price of regular gas in Chattanooga last week remained at $3.14 a gallon, which was 37 cents a gallon below the U.S. average, according to surveys released Monday by GasBuddy. Prices in Chattanooga are 17.2 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and stand nearly $1.26 per gallon lower than a year ago.

OPEC+ agreed Sunday to an additional production cut to try to push up oil prices on the global market.

"As a result, oil prices are likely to see upward pressure as global supplies, which have remained tight, promise to become even tighter as a result," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a report Monday

The national average price of diesel has fallen 3.4 cents in the last week and stands at $3.88 per gallon.

3M settlement seen for PFAS lawsuits

3M is nearing a settlement with scores of cities and water agencies over firefighting foam made with PFAS, the "forever chemicals" that have tainted groundwater across the country.

3M and plaintiffs' lawyers Sunday asked that a big trial scheduled to start Monday in Charleston, S.C. be delayed while mediation continues. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel Monday granted a motion for the trial's continuance.

"Counsel for the plaintiff and counsel for 3M Company have been in serious settlement discussions to reach a global resolution of the claims of the water district plaintiffs pending against 3M," Gergel wrote in an order Monday.

Both 3M and plaintiffs' lawyers told the court Sunday "that they believe their time could be more effectively spent finalizing the agreement and obtaining the necessary approvals rather than commencing the trial of this case."

Last week, DuPont de Nemours Inc., Chemours Co. and DuPont spinoff Corteva Inc. agreed to $1.2 billion settlement before the trial, which pits over 3,000 plaintiffs — including cities, towns and public water agencies — against several firefighting foam manufacturers.

SEC says Binance broke securities laws

The world's largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance and its founder Changpeng Zhao are accused of misusing investor funds, operating as an unregistered exchange and violating a slew of U.S. securities laws in a lawsuit filed by the SEC.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit on Monday lists 13 charges against the firm — including commingling and divert customer assets to an entity Zhao owned called Sigma Chain. Binance is a Cayman Islands limited liability company founded by Zhao.

TikTok lawsuit called 'political posturing'

The fate of an Indiana lawsuit against the social media company TikTok is uncertain after a federal judge lambasted it as "political posturing."

The case came before a federal judge at TikTok's request because the company wants the case moved to federal court. The judge denied that request.

Indiana Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita is suing TikTok because he claims the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform misleads people about its inappropriate content and consumer security. The case remains with a county judge who dealt a blow to the case last month, ruling that downloading TikTok isn't a consumer transaction because people don't pay for it.

Europe's central bank calls inflation 'strong'

FRANKFURT, Germany — European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde says inflation pressures are "strong."

She made clear Monday that the central bank will keep raising interest rates to bring down inflation to its goal of 2%. That means there is a ways to go after inflation clocked in at 6.1% in May.

Falling energy prices helped, but Lagarde has warned that is only part of the story but "there is no clear evidence that underlying inflation has peaked." She stressed the burden that inflation puts on ordinary people, particularly those who are low income.

Analysts expect the ECB to raise rates again at its meeting June 15.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner