Despite President Donald Trump's campaign vows to support American ethanol producers, the $24 billion corn-based ethanol industry finds itself short on allies in the new administration. Trump's nominees to lead the three agencies that have the most interaction with the industry have either criticized the nation's biofuel mandate, known as the renewable fuel standard, or hail from states with influential constituencies opposed to the policy.
Rain has finally been falling hard in California, where reservoirs are filling up fast. After six years of punishing drought, that's obviously a good thing. But it creates a balancing-act challenge for the state's water managers. Keep too much holed up in storage and the system will overflow if the precipitation keeps coming. Open the hatches too much and, if Mother Nature doesn't provide any more deluges, California will be parched when the rain stops.
Congressional Republicans seeking traction with an unpredictable and untried President-elect Donald Trump are embracing an emissary: Vice President-elect Mike Pence. The former six-term House member met with Republicans on both sides of the Capitol last week to discuss repealing Obamacare and other issues. In addition to his traditional Senate office, he'll have one in the House -- a Capitol footprint not seen since Dick Cheney was vice president.
Children keep getting more expensive to raise -- fashion is pricier and so are doctor visits and day care, according to the U.S. government. At least food's still relatively cheap. The cost for a middle-income family to raise a child born in 2015 to age 18 is $233,610, a 3 percent increase from the previous year, the Department of Agriculture said Monday.
Barnes & Noble Inc. posted its first decline in holiday sales in three years, hurt by a downturn in the coloring-book category, bringing another sign that the Christmas season wasn't kind to retailers.
The Gigafactory has been activated. Hidden in the scrubland east of Reno, Nevada, where cowboys gamble and wild horses still roam-a diamond-shaped factory of outlandish proportions is emerging from the sweat and promises of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. It's known as the Gigafactory, and Wednesday its first battery cells are rolling off production lines to power the company's energy storage products and, before long, the Model 3 electric car.
Amazon.com said the number of items sold for independent merchants that use its logistics service more than doubled to 2 billion last year, evidence the online retailer's stepped-up investments in warehouses are paying off with expansion into new areas like fashion and household goods.
Even for a puppy, Kat Donatello's black Labrador, Austin, was hyperactive. After experimenting with natural supplements on her older dog, Donatello slipped a special biscuit to Austin. "It just kind of took the edge off of him," she recalled. The treat contained Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, a chemical compound extracted from the marijuana plant.
When Kimberly Dulude steps into a TJ Maxx store near her job at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she likes to begin perusing a clearance aisle in the back. Then she works her way up to shoes. Beauty is next, and so on until she gets to the front. The 29-year-old does buy stuff online all the time-just not from TJ Maxx. The store, she says, provides the thrill of the hunt. "I kid you not, I could spend hours in there," said Dulude.
In a year when U.S. restaurant chains have bemoaned sluggish traffic, competition from supermarket food and even the chilling effect of the presidential election, one area has continued to thrive: pizza. Shares of Domino's Pizza are up 45 percent this year. And Papa John's International is up more than 60 percent. Compare that with a 3.4 percent gain for the Standard & Poor's 500 Restaurants Index.