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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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Options for a Federal Renewable Electricity Standard

Options for a Federal Renewable Electricity Standard

Date: November 12, 2010
Creator: Campbell, Richard J.
Description: This report discusses current ideas for a federal Renewable Electricity (or Energy) Standard (RES) and a broader Clean Energy Standard (CES). The goal of this report is to explore how such policies could potentially increase the amounts of renewable electricity generated in the United States, discussing other related public policy goals and rationales for renewable energy development, and the challenges/drawbacks of RES policy.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Robo-Signing" and Other Alleged Documentation Problems in Judicial and Nonjudicial Foreclosure Processes

"Robo-Signing" and Other Alleged Documentation Problems in Judicial and Nonjudicial Foreclosure Processes

Date: November 15, 2010
Creator: Carpenter, David H.
Description: Recent depositions involving major servicers, including GMAC Mortgage, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, have raised concerns about "robo-signing" -- the practice of having a small number of individuals sign a large number of affidavits and other legal documents submitted to courts and other public authorities by mortgage companies to execute foreclosure. This report explores concerns related to these issues by explaining the mortgage market process, procedural problems that have surfaced during foreclosure proceedings, and other relevant information.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Bayh-Dole Act: Selected Issues in Patent Policy and the Commercialization of Technology

The Bayh-Dole Act: Selected Issues in Patent Policy and the Commercialization of Technology

Date: November 16, 2010
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Description: Congressional interest in facilitating U.S. technological innovation led to the passage of P.L. 96-517, Amendments to the Patent and Trademark Act, commonly referred to as the "Bayh-Dole Act" after its two main sponsors former Senators Robert Dole and Birch Bayh. Under this 1980 law, as amended, title to inventions made with government support is provided to the contractor if that contractor is a small business, a university, or other non-profit institution. This report discusses the rationale behind the passage of P.L. 96-517, its provisions, and implementation of the law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
International Climate Change: A Negotiations Side-by-Side

International Climate Change: A Negotiations Side-by-Side

Date: November 18, 2010
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Description: This report discusses various cooperative international efforts to address the issue of global climate change. The two major international agreements discussed in a side-by-side comparison are the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2010 Copenhagen Accord. The report discusses how many observers are hoping that initiatives carried out under the Copenhagen Accord may help bridge divides between the various tracks and economic groupings established under the Kyoto Protocol.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Date: November 19, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: This report discusses recent legislative initiatives seeking to establish climate change impacts as a common law nuisance. The report explains what private and public nuisances are, the issues faced by policymakers when litigating a climate-change/nuisance suit, and also discusses five climate-chance/nuisance suits that are now or formerly active, as a basis of comparison. The report also explores arguments of those both for and against addressing the complex issue of climate change through common law suits.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues

International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues

Date: November 30, 2010
Creator: Arieff, Alexis; Margesson, Rhoda; Browne, Marjorie Ann & Weed, Matthew C.
Description: This report provides background on current International Criminal Court (ICC) cases and examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa, including the potential deterrence of future abuses and the potential impact on African peace processes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, and Missile Proliferation Sanctions: Selected Current Law

Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, and Missile Proliferation Sanctions: Selected Current Law

Date: November 30, 2010
Creator: Rennack, Dianne E.
Description: This report offers a listing and brief description of legal provisions that require or authorize the imposition of some form of economic sanction against countries, companies, persons, or entities that violate U.S. nonproliferation norms. For each provision, information is included on what triggers the imposition of sanctions, their duration, what authority the President has to delay or abstain from imposing sanctions, and what authority the President has to waive the imposition of sanctions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and "DREAM Act" Legislation

Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and "DREAM Act" Legislation

Date: December 1, 2010
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform have urged the President and Congress to pursue reform legislation. While legislative action on comprehensive reform does not appear likely during the remainder of the 111th Congress, there may be an effort to enact a measure, commonly referred to as the "DREAM Act," to enable certain unauthorized alien students to legalize their status. This report discusses the DREAM act and related issues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties

Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties

Date: December 2, 2010
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Description: This report discusses the issues surrounding whether or not the U.S. should grant Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) following its accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO). The change in Russia's trade status will require legislation to lift the restrictions of Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974 as they apply to Russia, which includes the "freedom-of-emigration" requirements of the Jackson-Vanik amendment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision: A Chronology

Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision: A Chronology

Date: December 3, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: This report presents a chronology of major federal agency actions taken in the wake of Massachusetts v. EPA. In Massachusetts v. EPA, the Court held that greenhouse gases (GHGs), widely viewed as contributing to climate change, constitute "air pollutants" as that phrase is used in the Clean Air Act (CAA). As a result, said the Court, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had improperly denied a petition seeking CAA regulation of GHGs from new motor vehicles by saying the agency lacked authority over such emissions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department