CONSUMERS

An epic throw-down happened Thursday on Capitol Hill over the role of the federal government. The topic: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency created in the wake of the 2007-08 financial crisis.

On one side was the Trump administration's acting director, Mick Mulvaney, who believes the bureau's powers are excessive and unchecked. On the other was Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who led the creation of the bureau to protect consumers from abuses by everything from big banks to student loan providers to fly-by-night loan sharks.

Massachusetts energy officials have announced they're going with Plan B to bring Canadian hydroelectric power to the Bay State.

They've selected a back-up project that runs transmission lines through Maine, after New Hampshire state regulators refused to allow Plan A – the controversial Northern Pass project.

But the Maine project, known as New England Clean Energy Connect, also faces an uncertain future.

In Massachusetts, the announcement got kudos and criticism from those closely watching the state's selection of a massive clean energy project:

Northern Pass Loses Mass. Energy Contract

Mar 28, 2018
Electricity lines.
pxhere / Creative Commons

The future of Massachusetts hydropower will not come through the White Mountains of New Hampshire via the Northern Pass project, Massachusetts and utilities officials agreed and announced Wednesday.

3 Reasons Gun Companies Are Under Pressure

Mar 27, 2018

Remington Arms Co., an American gun company with roots stretching back over 200 years, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Saddled with almost $1 billion in debt and a victim of shifting market trends, Remington, like many other gun companies, faces a constant uphill battle wrought with political pressures and changing sentiments on gun ownership. Here are three reasons why gun companies are now struggling to find profits.

The rail platform at the Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

A working group says seasonal passenger rail service between Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and New York City is a possibility, and that the so-called Berkshire Flyer could start running in the next couple of years.

A Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus makes a stop at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
File Photo / The Republican

Representatives of the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority are traveling to Boston on Wednesday to make the case for providing enough funding to avoid proposed service cuts.

The Massachusetts Senate approved a first-of-its kind state tax for outdoor recreational businesses in the town of Charlemont.
Masslive / Republican File

The Massachusetts Senate approved a first-of-its kind state tax for outdoor recreational businesses in the town of Charlemont. If approved, a three percent tax would be levied.

New England has gotten federal approval for a first-in-the-nation type of power supply auction. It'll let new renewable energy projects take over for old fossil fuel plants on the grid.

Once a year, the nonprofit grid operator ISO-New England holds an auction for power generators who want to supply energy for the region, starting three years out. 

Updated at 7:10 p.m. ET

After decades of being the go-to toy store for many Americans, Toys R Us is officially going out of business. Unable to get its finances in order through a months-long bankruptcy process, the retail chain has reached the end of the line.

ISO New England's control room.
ISO New England

New England residents are charged some of the highest consumer rates for power in the country. This comes as the budget for the region's electric grid operator rose by more than 30 percent over five years.

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