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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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
Global Natural Gas: A Growing Resource

Global Natural Gas: A Growing Resource

Date: December 22, 2010
Creator: Ratner, Michael
Description: The role of natural gas in the U.S. economy is expected to be a major part of the debate over energy policy in the 112th Congress. This report briefly explains key aspects of global natural gas markets, including supply and demand, as well as major U.S. developments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress

Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress

Date: December 23, 2010
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D
Description: High levels of oil imports and high crude oil and gasoline prices in recent years have led to increased interest in the U.S. fuel supply. Recent congressional interest has focused on alternatives to petroleum, ways to improve the efficiency of the U.S. transportation sector, and ways to improve the stability and security of the petroleum supply and refining sectors. Key components of federal policies to reduce petroleum consumption include the promotion of alternatives to petroleum fuels and the promotion of more efficient vehicles. This report provides an overview of current issues surrounding alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Biofuels Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs

Biofuels Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs

Date: December 23, 2010
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: This report outlines federal programs that provide direct or indirect incentives for biofuels. For each program described, the report provides details including the administering agency, authorizing statute(s), annual funding, and expiration date. The Appendix provides summary information in a table format.
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: January 6, 2011
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Geoengineering: Governance and Technology Policy

Geoengineering: Governance and Technology Policy

Date: January 10, 2011
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi; Lattanzio, Richard K. & Barbour, Emily C.
Description: This report is intended as a primer on the policy issues, science, and governance of geoengineering technologies. The report will first set the policy parameters under which geoengineering technologies may be considered. It will then describe selected technologies in detail and discuss their status. The third section provides a discussion of possible approaches to governmental involvement in, and oversight of, geoengineering, including a summary of domestic and international instruments and institutions that may affect geoengineering projects.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer

Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer

Date: January 11, 2011
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress

U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress

Date: January 11, 2011
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Description: This report discusses key policy issues related to a nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States and Russia signed on May 6, 2008, including future nuclear energy cooperation with Russia, U.S.-Russian bilateral relations, nonproliferation cooperation, and Russia's policies toward Iran.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cellulosic Biofuels: Analysis of Policy Issues for Congress

Cellulosic Biofuels: Analysis of Policy Issues for Congress

Date: January 13, 2011
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi; Schnepf, Randy; Stubbs, Megan & Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: Report that provides background on the current effort to develop industrial-scale, competitive technology to produce biofuels from cellulosic feedstocks.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices

U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices

Date: January 13, 2011
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: Report that provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S.-Australia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation: Issues for Congress

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

Date: January 18, 2011
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.
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: January 21, 2011
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues.
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: January 26, 2011
Creator: Sissine, Fred
Description: This report provides a cumulative history of Department of Energy (DOE) funding for renewable energy compared with funding for the other energy technologies-nuclear energy, fossil energy, and energy efficiency.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Israel's Offshore Natural Gas Discoveries Enhance Its Economic and Energy Outlook

Israel's Offshore Natural Gas Discoveries Enhance Its Economic and Energy Outlook

Date: January 31, 2011
Creator: Ratner, Michael
Description: This report discusses Israel's historical dependence on energy imports, and the recent offshore natural gas discoveries that could possibly make Israel a prominent exporter of natural gas. This report also discusses how development of the recently discovered natural gas fields could affect Israel's economy and energy security, and how Israel may or may not consult with the U.S. or other natural gas producting countries while weighing its options.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Industrial Demand and the Changing Natural Gas Market

Industrial Demand and the Changing Natural Gas Market

Date: February 10, 2011
Creator: Pirog, Robert
Description: This report analyzes the behavior of the industrial component of natural gas demand, examining the conditions in the industries that consume natural gas that might lead to reduced demand. The nitrogen-based fertilizer industry is examined as an example of a major natural gas consuming industry that has been affected by high and/or fluctuating prices.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Market for Biomass-Based Diesel Fuel in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)

The Market for Biomass-Based Diesel Fuel in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)

Date: February 11, 2011
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: This report discusses the current market for biomass-based diesel (BBD) fuels and their corresponding RINs (Renewable Identification Numbers) under the RFS. It examines the role that the RIN market may play as an economic incentive for the production of biodiesel and other BBD fuels in the future.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India: Issues for Congress

U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India: Issues for Congress

Date: February 14, 2011
Creator: Kerr, Paul K.
Description: This report discusses the United States' relationship with India as it regards nuclear nonproliferation and cooperation. It particularly looks at agreements made between the Bush administration and India, and the Obama administration's continuation of these policies.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department