Must-Read Money Stories for Wednesday, Feb. 8

by February 8, 2017
Abiding by President Trump's executive order, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to grant an easement for final completion of the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline. (Image "Bakken/Dakota Access Oil Pipeline" by Tony Webster via Flickr, CC license by 2.0.)

Abiding by President Trump’s executive order, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to grant an easement for final completion of the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline. (Image “Bakken/Dakota Access Oil Pipeline” by Tony Webster via Flickr, CC license by 2.0.)

Green light for the pipeline

On Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a federal agency under the Department of the Army, filed court paperwork granting permission to complete construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline, according to Bloomberg. The court filing says the agency plans to approve a final easement under a river in North Dakota—a portion of the project that was blocked shortly before President Obama left office last month following massive protests by environmentalists and the area’s Native American tribe members. The move effectively expedites the project’s approval process as required by Trump’s executive order signed late last month, which was motivated by efforts to boost domestic energy production and jobs.

VW cozies up to electric cars

As part of a broader effort to salvage its reputation in the wake of its emissions-cheating scandal, German automaker Volkswagen says it’s rolling out a new subsidiary in the U.S. designed explicitly to promote consumer use of electric cars and other zero-emission vehicles, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Using funds committed from Volkswagen’s multibillion-dollar emissions settlements with the U.S. and some states, the new unit—dubbed Electrify America LLC—plans to create a national network of 200 electric car charging stations and also install additional stations in 15 metro areas, among other initiatives.

More exec shakeups at Intel

Roughly six months into her tenure, Intel Corp.’s Chief Operating Officer Kim Stevenson has unexpectedly resigned in order to pursue “new adventures,” as she explained on Twitter, the Oregonian reported this week. Intel has undergone a string of management shakeups following the mid-2015 departure of president Renee James—including its chief financial officer, chief information officer, president and head of human resources—and last year’s layoff of 15,000 employees as the tech giant shifts its core focus from computer microprocessors to data centers.

CEO pay may stay under wraps

A controversial new rule that went into effect this year requiring public U.S. companies to disclose how much their CEOs earn versus employees may be up for reconsideration, the Washington Post reported this week. The new rule, called the “pay-ratio” disclosure, is already causing companies major worries about meeting its regular federal disclosure deadlines, said Michael Piwowar, acting chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who has directed his staff to reconsider the rule’s implementation. The pay-ratio disclosure was among the most controversial aspects of Dodd-Frank—the post-recession law that tightened the financial system’s governance and that is also now under review by way President Donald Trump’s executive order last week.

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