Business Briefs: Trump alters rule on methane gas

Business Briefs: Trump alters rule on methane gas

February 13th, 2018 by Staff and Wire Reports in Business Around the Region

Trump alters rule on methane gas

The Interior Department says it is replacing an Obama-era regulation aimed at restricting harmful methane emissions from oil and gas production on federal lands.

A rule being published in the Federal Register this week will replace the 2016 rule with requirements similar to those in force before the Obama administration changed the regulation. Interior had previously announced it was delaying the Obama-era rule until January 2019, arguing the rule was overly burdensome to industry.

Officials said the delay would allow the federal Bureau of Land Management time to review the earlier rule while avoiding tens of millions of dollars in compliance costs to industry.


Chattanooga gas prices drop for first time in 2018

After six weeks of rising gasoline prices, the price of gas in Chattanooga fell last week for the first time in 2018, dropping by an average 3.2 cents per gallon to $2.33 a gallon, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 gas outlets in Chattanooga.

The stock market losses and market "correction" over the past couple of weeks reduced oil prices and, in turn, lowered the price at the pump, experts said.

"As the Dow Jones average swung violently, oil prices lost considerable ground, falling below $60 per barrel for the first time this year," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

DeHaan said the drop in gas prices will likely continue this week but may be only "a brief window of relief" before fuel prices head up again.

Chattanooga fuel prices are still up 10 cents a gallon from a month ago and are 35 cents a gallon higher than at this time a year ago, surveys indicate. But local gas prices remain 24 cents per gallon below the U.S. average price of $2.57 a gallon.


Barnes & Noble reducing staff

Barnes & Noble, the nation's largest bookseller, says it's laying off staff after a weak holiday shopping season.

The company declined to give the number of jobs cut.

The cuts come after New York-based Barnes & Noble said last month that its sales at established sales slid 6.4 percent during the crucial nine-week period ending Dec. 30.

Most retailers have strengthened digital operations and sales have followed. At Barnes & Noble, however, online sales dropped 4.5 percent. is winning over more people each year to its Prime membership program, at one point handing out trial memberships to 4 million people in one week. The Seattle-based Amazon has also opened more than a dozen physical bookstores so far.


General Dynamics to acquire CSRA

The defense contractor General Dynamics will spend almost $7 billion to acquire CSRA with the Trump administration pushing defense spending aggressively higher.

Shares of CSRA Inc., an internet technology company, soared 31 percent in trading Monday. As part of a $4.4 trillion budget for next year unveiled Monday, President Donald Trump requested a record $686 billion for the Pentagon, a 13 percent increase from the 2017 budget enacted last May.

"We're going to have the strongest military we've ever had, by far," Trump said. "In this budget we took care of the military like it's never been taken care of before." Next year, the figure is expected to jump to $716 billion.