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 Country: United States
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues

Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues

Date: April 19, 2011
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Description: The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, 2008 farm bill) created the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). This report discusses the two main purposes of BCAP, which are (1) to support the establishment and production of eligible crops for conversion to bioenergy in selected areas, and (2) to assist agricultural and forest land owners and operators with collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility.
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Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?

Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?

Date: March 24, 2011
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi
Description: This report discusses some of the most relevant factors to take into account when considering whether or not biopower is carbon neutral. It does not discuss carbon accounting for other bioenergy pathways.
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U.S. and EU Agricultural Support: Overview and Comparison

U.S. and EU Agricultural Support: Overview and Comparison

Date: March 21, 2011
Creator: Schnepf, Randy & Hanrahan, Charles E.
Description: This report uses data from two public sources to compare agricultural support between the United States and the European Union (EU): (1) estimates of domestic support for agricultural programs based on World Trade Organization (WTO) notifications; and (2) the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD's) country-level policy database. Each of these data sources uses a slightly different metric to evaluate agricultural support. The report includes an overview of farm programs in the U.S. and EU, comparisons of support based on the metrics, and conclusions with policy implications.
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Agriculture in Pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea

Agriculture in Pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea

Date: February 14, 2011
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Description: This report discusses pending U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. The bills to implement these agreements will now be debated under trade promotion authority, or fast-track rules, designed to expedite congressional consideration. The report includes an overview of agricultural issues regarding FTAs and pending FTA partners, as well as a closer breakdown of the specific issues for each of the countries.
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The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

Date: January 11, 2011
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: Report concerning food safety, the resources required to ensure food safety, and whether federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then.
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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations for FY2011

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations for FY2011

Date: January 6, 2011
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Description: This report provides an overview of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) budget and operations. This report chronicles congressional action on the FY2011 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS), and Related Agencies Appropriations bills, as well as any FY2010 supplemental appropriations bills, that provide funding for ATF.
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Generalized System of Preferences: Agricultural Imports

Generalized System of Preferences: Agricultural Imports

Date: January 3, 2011
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) provides duty-free tariff treatment for certain products from designated developing countries. Some in Congress have continued to call for changes to the program that could limit GSP benefits to certain countries, among other changes. Opinion within the U.S. agriculture industry is mixed, reflecting both support for and opposition to the current program. In the past few years, Congress has extended GSP through a series of short-term extensions. However, the 111th Congress did not extend the GSP in 2010, and it was set to expire December 31, 2010. The expiration of the GSP will likely become a legislative issues in the 112th Congress.
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The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

Date: December 15, 2010
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: The combined efforts of the food industry and the regulatory agencies often are credited with making the U.S. food supply among the safest in the world. Nonetheless, many food-related health issues persist. At issue is whether the current U.S. regulatory system has the resources and structural organization to protect consumers from these dangers. Also at issue is whether the federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then.
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Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress

Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress

Date: October 28, 2010
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi & Gorte, Ross W.
Description: This report discusses the use of biomass as an energy feedstock, which is emerging as a potentially viable alternative to address U.S. energy security concerns, foreign oil dependence, rural economic development, and diminishing sources of conventional energy. Biomass (organic matter that can be converted into energy) may include food crops, crops for energy (e.g., switchgrass or prairie perennials), crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. This report discusses legislation regarding biomass, the evolving definition of biomass, and the positions of supporters and detractors of biomass as an alternative energy source.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: October 25, 2010
Creator: Shields, Dennis A.
Description: This report has two sections. The first provides an overview of the current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs: federal crop insurance, NAP payments, emergency disaster loans, the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), and four other smaller disaster programs authorized in the 2008 farm bill. The second section reviews the recent history of emergency supplemental farm disaster assistance.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department