WASHINGTON, June 29 (Reuters) – The U.S. Postal Service’s
regulator has rejected an attempt by a postal workers’ union to
block changes to mail delivery set to take effect next week, the
Postal Regulatory Commission said on Friday.
The mail agency said in May it would begin this summer
consolidating operations at mail processing plants, with about
140 facilities to be closed or consolidated by February 2013.
(Reuters) – Banks will retain attorney-client privilege and other legal protections over sensitive information submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under a rule the U.S. consumer watchdog adopted on Thursday.
The rule would protect certain legal memos, internal audits and other documents submitted to the agency from subpoena by outside groups. Bank executives had protested that confidential materials handed to the agency could be obtained by independent consumer advocates or groups trying to sue the firms.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In a bitterly divided U.S. political environment, there’s at least one thing Republicans and Democrats can agree on: Avoid a public showdown on natural gas exports, arguably the most important energy policy decision in recent memory.
While fluctuating gasoline prices, the Keystone pipeline and the fight over fracking steal headlines, the question of how much of the newfound U.S. shale gas bounty should be shared with the rest of the world goes largely without comment or coverage — despite holding far wider and longer-lasting consequences.
June 25 (Reuters) – The fallout from the General Services
Administration’s headline-grabbing Las Vegas convention scandal
is rippling through the travel and conference industries, who
say their nascent recovery is being jeopardized by increasing
scrutiny on government travel spending.
Those industries predict that a recent Obama administration
directive to federal agencies to slash travel budgets, and
congressional proposals to further cap agency spending and
travel, could hurt hotels, conference centers, rental car
agencies and other private companies.
(Reuters) – The head of the U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday compared the cash-strapped mail agency to Greece and said Congress must pass a restructuring plan if it is to return to profitability.
“If we don’t do something about the costs of this organization, we are going to look…like Greece,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said during a conference on the future of the U.S. Postal Service.
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON June 5 (Reuters) – A Washington-based
ethics watchdog has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to
investigate whether energy firms conspired to fix natural gas
prices by cutting production this year, an allegation the
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
said simultaneous production cuts by companies including
Chesapeake Energy and ConocoPhillips in the face
of decade-low prices may amount to collusion and violate
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the U.S. Postal Service limps along, bleeding billions of dollars every financial quarter, congressional leaders are looking to a group of outspoken rural lawmakers for help with a dramatic restructuring of the agency.
Rural Americans say they regard their local post offices as the centers of their communities. With UPS and FedEx service limited or more expensive in some areas, many rely on the Postal Service to deliver medicines, while families need it to pay bills and small businesses and craftsmen use it to ship goods to customers.
May 31 (Reuters) – An Obama administration official on
Thursday criticized a U.S. Senate panel for voting to block the
Pentagon from buying more costly alternative fuels, saying a
military biofuels program announced last year could help
revitalize rural America.
The Senate Armed Services Committee voted last week to
block the Pentagon from using 2013 funding to buy alternative
fuels that are more expensive than conventional fuels. Another
amendment, also approved as part of a $631.4 billion defense
bill, would prevent the Defense Department from building a
biofuels refining facility unless required by law.
(Reuters) – The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service will offer buyouts this summer to nearly all of its 45,000 mail handlers, part of a plan to consolidate operations at 140 mail-processing facilities in the next year.
The mail agency, which lost $3.2 billion in the first three months of 2012, plans to begin this summer moving mail-processing activities away from smaller sites to reduce annual costs.
WASHINGTON, May 17 (Reuters) – The U.S. Postal Service will
proceed with a plan this summer to shut mail-processing
facilities as part of its cost-cutting effort but will spread
out the closings to maintain overnight delivery of local mail.
The agency said on Thursday it would consolidate processing
at 140 of its 461 sites by February 2013, moving processing from
small facilities to larger ones, and shrink the area where
customers can expect mail to be delivered the next day.