Senate panel OKs Powell as Fed chairman
The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday approved President Donald Trump's selection of Jerome Powell to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.
The committee vote was 22-1 with all Republicans and every Democrat except Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., supporting the nomination. The strong committee vote indicated Powell will have no trouble winning approval from the full Senate.
Warren said she could not support Powell because of her concerns he would join in efforts by the Trump administration to unravel the Dodd-Frank Act passed in 2010 to strengthen regulation of the nation's banking sector.
"An army of bank lobbyists and executives have managed to convince Governor Powell that financial rules are strangling the banks and need to be rolled back," she said. "There is no evidence to support this claim."
Powell, who has been a member of the Fed's board of governors since 2012, was tapped for the chairman's job after Trump decided against nominating Fed Chair Janet Yellen for a second term.
TVA gets $3.5 million back from contractor
A federal utility has received $3.5 million in a settlement with a tree-trimming firm that pleaded guilty in a scheme to employ thousands of people in the country illegally.
A Tennessee Valley Authority's Office of Inspector General report says Asplundh Tree Expert Co. has already paid the utility.
Prosecutors said Asplundh "remained willfully blind" while managers hired workers they knew to be in the country illegally.
The suburban Philadelphia-based company pleaded guilty in September. A federal judge sentenced Asplundh to pay $95 million. Prosecutors said it's the largest monetary penalty ever levied in an immigration case.
Of the $95 million, $15 million satisfied civil claims about the company's failure to comply with immigration law. That included $3.6 million to TVA, with 3 percent going to the U.S. Justice Department.
Holiday volumes create UPS delays
UPS said some package deliveries are being delayed because of an unexpected flood of orders from online shoppers.
Responding to complaints on social media, the company said it is working to fix the problem.
UPS spokesman Steve Gaut said the delays of one or two days were caused by an unexpectedly big "bubble" in online orders the week after Thanksgiving.
United Parcel Service Co. expects to be back to normal operations by the end of today. It plans to hire about 95,000 seasonal workers and use more automation to meet the crush of shipments
The Atlanta company is sticking with its forecast of holiday shipments of more than 750 million package deliveries between Thanksgiving and Dec. 31, a 5 percent increase over last year.
Coal mine idled, 260 out of work
A union official said a coal mine in northern West Virginia has been idled, with 260 workers losing their jobs, apparently because of adverse geological conditions and market issues.
Phil Smith, spokesman for the United Mine Workers of America, said another 59 people were laid off a few months ago at the Federal No. 2 mine owned by ERP Compliant Fuels, which has no other mine to transfer the workers to.
He said a few workers remain to prevent flooding and keep the mine ready to reopen, but coal reserves were getting thin.
Federal and state regulators said they were notified Nov. 30.
The company did not reply to requests for comment.
In September, CEO Ken McCoy told Platts.com the mine had some roof falls and other geological issues.