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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Financial Performance of the Major Oil Companies, 2007-2011

Financial Performance of the Major Oil Companies, 2007-2011

Date: February 17, 2012
Creator: Pirog, Robert
Description: Periods of rising oil prices can result in reduced economic growth, rising prices, and reduced disposable incomes for consumers, as well as a deteriorating trade balance. For the oil industry, periods of high oil prices generally imply increasing cash flows and higher profits. Although the U.S. oil industry is composed of many firms, to many the face of the oil industry is represented by the five major firms operating extensively in the U.S. market. These firms are ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP plc, Royal Dutch Shell plc, and ConocoPhillips. During the period 2007 to 2011, the five major companies' upstream activities of exploration and production contributed more to the total profitability of the firms than the downstream activities of refining and marketing.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: February 27, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. The Arctic has increasingly become a subject of discussion among political leaders of the nations in the region. In varying degrees, the Arctic coastal states have indicated a willingness to establish and maintain a military presence in the high north. U.S. military forces, particularly the Navy and Coast Guard, have begun to pay more attention to the region.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress

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

Date: March 7, 2012
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi
Description: The use of biomass as an energy feedstock 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, crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. Most legislation involving biomass has focused on encouraging the production of liquid fuels from corn. For over 30 years, the term biomass has been a part of legislation enacted by Congress for various programs, indicating some interest by the general public and policymakers in expanding its use. To aid understanding of why U.S. consumers, utility groups, refinery managers, and others have not fully adopted biomass as an energy resource, this report investigates the characterization of biomass in legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Renewable Energy R&D Funding History: A Comparison with Funding for Nuclear Energy, Fossil Energy, and Energy Efficiency R&D

Renewable Energy R&D Funding History: A Comparison with Funding for Nuclear Energy, Fossil Energy, and Energy Efficiency R&D

Date: March 7, 2012
Creator: Sissine, Fred
Description: This report looks at the history and current status, including Congress delegated funding, of energy-related research and development of coal-based synthetic petroleum and atomic power.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Securing Nuclear Materials: The 2012 Summit and Issues for Congress

Securing Nuclear Materials: The 2012 Summit and Issues for Congress

Date: March 7, 2012
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Description: Congress will continue to decide on funding for the U.S. domestic and international programs focused on nuclear material security and nuclear terrorism prevention. Congress is also likely to assess implementation of the Administration's goal to secure nuclear materials by the end of 2013. The Obama Administration's FY2011 and FY2012 congressional budget request proposed overall increases in funding for nuclear security-related accounts, with the stated purpose of ramping up programs to meet the President's four-year goal.
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The Federal Excise Tax on Gasoline and the Highway Trust Fund: A Short History

The Federal Excise Tax on Gasoline and the Highway Trust Fund: A Short History

Date: March 9, 2012
Creator: Bickley, James M.
Description: A history and overview of current issues relating to the gasoline excise tax.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Europe's Energy Security: Options and Challenges to Natural Gas Supply Diversification

Europe's Energy Security: Options and Challenges to Natural Gas Supply Diversification

Date: March 13, 2012
Creator: Ratner, Michael
Description: This report focuses on potential approaches that Europe might employ to diversify its sources of natural gas supply, and Russia's role, as well as identifying some of the issues hindering efforts to develop alternative suppliers of natural gas. The report assesses the potential suppliers of natural gas to Europe and the short- to medium-term hurdles needed to be overcome for those suppliers to be credible, long-term providers of natural gas to Europe. The report looks at North Africa and Central Asia as possible sources of future energy supply.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Keeping America's Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress

Keeping America's Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress

Date: March 13, 2012
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Description: Nearly half a million miles of pipeline transporting natural gas, oil, and other hazardous liquids crisscross the United States. While an efficient and fundamentally safe means of transport, many pipelines carry materials with the potential to cause public injury and environmental damage. The nation's pipeline networks are also widespread and vulnerable to accidents and terrorist attack. As it oversees the federal pipeline safety program and the federal role in pipeline security, Congress may wish to assess how the various elements of U.S. pipeline safety and security fit together in the nation's overall strategy to protect transportation infrastructure. Pipeline safety and security necessarily involve many groups: federal agencies, oil and gas pipeline associations, large and small pipeline operators, and local communities. Reviewing how these groups work together to achieve common goals could be an oversight challenge for Congress.
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U.S. Crude Oil Production in Federal and Non-Federal Areas

U.S. Crude Oil Production in Federal and Non-Federal Areas

Date: March 20, 2012
Creator: Humphries, Marc
Description: A brief look at how oil prices are affected by production.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Energy Storage for Power Grids and Electric Transportation: A Technology Assessment

Energy Storage for Power Grids and Electric Transportation: A Technology Assessment

Date: March 27, 2012
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Description: This report attempts to summarize the current state of knowledge regarding energy storage technologies for both electric power grid and electric vehicle applications. It is intended to serve as a reference for policymakers interested in understanding the range of technologies and applications associated with energy storage, comparing them, when possible, in a structured way to highlight key characteristics relevant to widespread use. While the emphasis is on technology, this report also addresses the significant policy, market, and other non-technical factors that may impede storage adoption. It considers eight major categories of storage technology: pumped hydro, compressed air, batteries, capacitors, superconducting magnetic energy storage, flywheels, thermal storage, and hydrogen.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department