Business Briefs – March 15, 2017

Trump Fuel Economy Move Sets Up Fight With California

DETROIT (AP) – The Trump administration’s decision to re-examine Obama-era rules that govern automobile gas mileage could be the first round of a potentially bruising political fight: revoking the ability of California and other blue states to set their own, tougher car-emission standards.

Environmental groups are preparing for the clash, which won’t come for at least another year and likely will end up being settled by the courts.

Cozy Clothes May Be Key Source of Sea Pollution

KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) – Researchers say cozy clothes are emerging as a source of plastic that’s increasingly ending up in oceans and possibly contaminating seafood. They say microfibers from synthetic fabrics are being found at a much higher rate than the brightly colored plastic spheres the U.S. government banned from rinse-off cosmetic products.

The findings suggest manufacturers of washing machines may need to be targeted next in efforts to reduce plastic waste in oceans.

U.S. Homebuilder Sentiment Surges to 12-Year High in March

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. homebuilders are feeling more optimistic about their sales prospects than they have been since the high-flying days of the housing boom. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index jumped to 71 this month. That’s up six points from 65 in February and the highest reading since June 2005.