Shared from the 3/28/2017 Philadelphia Inquirer - Philly Edition eEdition

BRIEFCASE

In the Region

Pa. fracking wells approved

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Monday approved two disposal wells for wastewater from oil and gas production, attaching special conditions to the permits to control for seismic activity associated with similar wells in other states. The wells in Highland Township, Elk County, and Grant Township, Indiana County, had attracted fierce local opposition from residents, who fear they might pollute groundwater or cause earthquakes. DEP said the operators, Seneca Resources Corp. in Elk County and Pennsylvania General Energy Co. in Indiana County, would be required to operate the wells at lower pressures to reduce the chance of tremors. It also will require the operators to install seismic monitors. More information on the wells, which are formally called underground injection control wells, is available on DEP’s website: http://bit.ly/2o2OOHt

— Andrew Maykuth

City co-worker space increase

By the end of 2016, Philadelphia had 19 co-working operators, offering a total of 507,914 square feet of shared space to startups and entrepreneurs, according to a report by Cushman & Wakefield. Among those who expanded in 2016 were New York-based WeWork, The Yard, Joynture, and Philly-based Benjamin’s Desk, selected to run the 40,000-square-foot incubator at the University of Pennsylvania’s Pennovation Center. Three more coworking firms are currently in the market for spaces, the report said. — Staff report

N.J. credit downgraded

New Jersey’s credit rating has been downgraded for an 11th time under Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Moody’s Investor Service on Monday dropped the state’s credit rating on general obligation bonds one notch from A2 to A3. The agency cited the state’s underfunded pension system and other budget issues, including the elimination of the estate tax. — AP

Elsewhere

Court won’t restore settlement

The Supreme Court will not restore a $7.25 billion settlement between merchants and Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. over credit card transaction fees. The justices did not comment Monday in leaving in place a ruling by the federal appeals court in New York that tossed out the settlement in a lawsuit that began in 2005. — AP

3-month T-bills hit 8-year high

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in Monday’s auction with rates on three-month bills climbing to the highest level in more than eight years. The Treasury Department auctioned $39 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.780 percent, up from 0.760 percent last week. Another $33 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.905 percent, up from 0.890 percent last week. The three-month rate was the highest since these bills averaged 0.900 percent on Oct. 27, 2008. The six-month rate was the highest since these bills averaged 0.910 percent two weeks ago on March

13. — AP

Growth pegged at 2.3%-2.5%

U.S. economic growth is expected to accelerate this year and next, yet remain modest, even if President Trump’s promised tax cuts and infrastructure spending are implemented, a survey found. The economy will grow a solid 2.3 percent this year and 2.5 percent in 2018, according to 50 economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics. Those rates would be up from 2016’s anemic pace of 1.6 percent. — AP

Expedia hires Vengalil

Expedia Inc.’s Eric Hart, the executive who helped lead M&A during the travel giant’s multibillion-dollar acquisition spree, is stepping aside. Expedia hired LendingClub Corp.’s Regi Vengalil to head corporate development and strategy at the Bellevue, Washington-based company, an Expedia spokesman said. Vengalil started at the job in January, according to his profile on LinkedIn. — Bloomberg

Darden buys Cheddar’s

Darden Restaurants Inc. agreed to acquire Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen for $780 million in cash, giving the owner of Olive Garden another restaurant brand it can use to fuel growth. Darden is buying the chain from an investor group that includes private equity firms L. Catterton and Oak Investment Partners, according to a statement Monday. Cheddar’s, founded in 1979, has 165 locations across 28 states.

— Bloomberg

‘Fearless Girl’ to stay until Feb.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says the wildly popular statue of a young girl staring down Wall Street’s famous Charging Bull will be allowed to remain through February 2018. De Blasio says the artwork, called Fearless Girl, has inspired many people and “fueled powerful conversations about women in leadership.” He calls the decision “a fitting path for a girl who refuses to quit.” The Daily News says the statue, which stands on Department of Transportation property, will get a longer-term permit through the department’s art program. — AP

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