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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The U.S. Oil Refining Industry: Background in Changing Markets and Fuel Policies

The U.S. Oil Refining Industry: Background in Changing Markets and Fuel Policies

Date: November 22, 2010
Creator: Andrews, Anthony; Pirog, Robert & Sherlock, Molly F.
Description: This report begins by looking at the current production capacity of the oil refineries operating in the United States, and the sources and changes in crude oil supply. It then examines the changing characteristics of petroleum and petroleum product markets and identifies the effects of these changes on the refining industry. The report concludes with discussion of the policy and regulatory factors that are likely to affect the structure and performance of the industry during the next decade.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Energy's Water Demand: Trends, Vulnerabilities, and Management

Energy's Water Demand: Trends, Vulnerabilities, and Management

Date: November 24, 2010
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.
Description: The nation's energy choices embody many tradeoffs. Water use is one of those tradeoffs. The energy choices before Congress represent vastly different demands on domestic freshwater. The energy sector's water consumption is projected to rise 50% from 2005 to 2030. This rising water demand derives from both an increase in the amount of energy demanded and shifts to more water-intense energy sources and technologies. This report discusses this issue as well as related issues that may arise for the 112th Congress.
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North Korea's 2009 Nuclear Test: Containment, Monitoring, Implications

North Korea's 2009 Nuclear Test: Containment, Monitoring, Implications

Date: November 24, 2010
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan
Description: This report discusses the implications of North Korea's May 25, 2009, underground nuclear test, related issues such as the the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), containment of radioactive materials, and other concerns for Congress, such as improving nuclear monitoring capability.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cuba's Offshore Oil Development: Background and U.S. Policy Considerations

Cuba's Offshore Oil Development: Background and U.S. Policy Considerations

Date: November 29, 2010
Creator: Nerurkar, Neelesh
Description: This report first examines Cuba's oil sector, including current production and consumption levels. It then looks at Cuba's offshore development, including the Repsol project, other offshore projects involving state-owed foreign oil companies, and the outlook for Cuba's offshore oil production. The report then analyzes considerations for the United States raised by Cuba's offshore oil development, examining oil spill risks and environmental dangers if spilled oil reaches U.S. waters, the status of disaster coordination between the United States and Cuba, and potential approaches on the issue. The report then examines the debate over broader U.S. involvement in Cuba's offshore oil development, and touches on two outstanding boundary issues related to Cuba's offshore oil development. Finally, the report examines legislative initiatives that reflect two contrasting policy approaches toward Cuba's offshore oil development - one would authorize U.S. investment in the sector, and the other would not affect current prohibitions on U.S. firms' economic dealings with Cuba and would impose sanctions on foreign companies and individuals who support the development of Cuba's petroleum resources.
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U.S. Fossil Fuel Resources: Terminology, Reporting, and Summary

U.S. Fossil Fuel Resources: Terminology, Reporting, and Summary

Date: November 30, 2010
Creator: Whitney, Gene; Behrens, Carl E. & Glover, Carol
Description: This report describes the characteristics of fossil fuels that make it necessary to use precise terminology, summarizes the major terms and their meanings, and provides a brief summary of the United States' endowment of fossil fuels and the relationship between the U.S. fossil fuel energy endowment and those of other nations.
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U.S.-Australia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation: Issues for Congress

U.S.-Australia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation: Issues for Congress

Date: December 1, 2010
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth & Vaughn, Bruce
Description: This report briefly discusses nuclear relations and cooperation between the United States and Australia, including the Atomic Energy Act and President Obama's latest renewal agreement of said Act.
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Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer

Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer

Date: December 8, 2010
Creator: Kerr, Paul K. & Nikitin, Mary Beth
Description: This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
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Renewable Energy Programs and the Farm Bill: Status and Issues

Renewable Energy Programs and the Farm Bill: Status and Issues

Date: December 8, 2010
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: This report discusses the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, the 2008 farm bill) which extends and expands many of the renewable energy programs originally authorized in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-171, 2002 farm bill). The bill also continues the emphasis on the research and development of advanced and cellulosic bioenergy authorized in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (P.L. 110-140).
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The Stuxnet Computer Worm: Harbinger of an Emerging Warfare Capability

The Stuxnet Computer Worm: Harbinger of an Emerging Warfare Capability

Date: December 9, 2010
Creator: Kerr, Paul K.; Rollins, John & Theohary, Catherine A.
Description: In September 2010, media reports emerged about a new form of cyber attack that appeared to target Iran, although the actual target, if any, is unknown. This report discusses this cyber attack, a malicious software program known as Stuxnet, which infected computer systems that were used to control the functioning of a nuclear power plant. Once inside the system, Stuxnet had the ability to degrade or destroy the software on which it operated. Although early reports focused on the impact on facilities in Iran, researchers discovered that the program had spread throughout multiple countries worldwide.
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: December 13, 2010
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Description: This report discusses new legislation being considered by the 111th Congress to improve the safety and security of the U.S. pipeline network. H.R. 6008 would require pipeline operators to provide immediate telephonic notice of a pipeline release to federal emergency response officials and would increase civil penalties for pipeline safety violations. S. 3824 would increase the number of federal pipeline safety inspectors, would require automatic shutoff valves for natural gas pipelines, and would mandate internal inspections of transmission pipelines, among other provisions
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department