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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions

U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions

Date: June 22, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention) was agreed to in 1982, but the United States never became a signatory nation. In the 111th Congress, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs on January 13, 2009, acknowledged that U.S. accession to the LOS Convention would be an Obama Administration priority. This report describes provisions of the LOS Convention relating to living marine resources and discusses how these provisions comport with current U.S. marine policy.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Fish and Wildlife Service: Compensation to Local Governments

Fish and Wildlife Service: Compensation to Local Governments

Date: March 6, 1990
Creator: M. Lynne Corn
Description: The Refuge Revenue Sharing Fund (RRSF) was enacted in response to the concern of local governments regarding losses to their tax base due to the presence of federally owned land under the jurisdiction of the Fish and Wildlife Service. This report outlines recent history of RRSF payment levels. It examines the RRSF and describes how the fund differs in its treatment of reserved and acquired lands under the jurisdiction of FWS. The report also examines the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program in detail.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Gas Hydrates: Resource and Hazard

Gas Hydrates: Resource and Hazard

Date: November 26, 2008
Creator: Folger, Peter
Description: Solid gas hydrates are a potentially huge resource of natural gas for the United States. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated that there are about 85 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of technically recoverable gas hydrates in northern Alaska. Gas hydrates are both a potential resource and a risk, representing a significant hazard to conventional oil and gas drilling and production operations. This report addresses the issue of cost and method of recovering potential gas hydrates, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of using gas hydrates as a potential energy source. Included is information on the Methane Hydrate Research and Development Act of 2000 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Wave, Tidal, and In-Stream Energy Projects: Which Federal Agency Has the Lead?

Wave, Tidal, and In-Stream Energy Projects: Which Federal Agency Has the Lead?

Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Lane, Nic
Description: Developments in wave, tidal, and in-stream energy generation technologies -- also referred to as hydrokinetic or marine energy -- are beginning to gain momentum. At the same time, their regulatory status is still evolving, as shown by recent changes in law aimed at clarifying hte federal role in ocean wave and renewable energy. Two federal agencies currently appear to have a lead role in offshore renewable energy projects -- the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Royalty Relief for U.S. Deepwater Oil and Gas Leases

Royalty Relief for U.S. Deepwater Oil and Gas Leases

Date: September 18, 2008
Creator: Humphries, Marc
Description: The most common incentives for offshore oil and gas development include various forms of royalty relief. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to grant royalty relief to promote increased oil and gas production. The Deep Water Royalty Relief Act of 1995 (DWRRA) expanded the Secretary's royalty relief authority in the Gulf of Mexico outer continental shelf (OCS). This report outlines the ongoing controversy over royalty relief, related legislation, and related court rulings.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard

Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard

Date: November 3, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: The U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG's) environmental activities focus on prevention programs, accompanied by enforcement and educational activities. An important component is maritime oil spill prevention, which includes inspection of U.S. and foreign-flagged ships to ensure compliance with U.S. laws and international agreements, as well as reduce the impact of oil and hazardous substances spills. Another prevention effort, minimizing marine debris, addresses commercial items as well as trash from recreational fishing and boating.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard

Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard

Date: May 22, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: The U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG's) environmental activities focus on prevention programs, accompanied by enforcement and educational activities. An important component is maritime oil spill prevention, which includes inspection of U.S. and foreign-flagged ships to ensure compliance with U.S. laws and international agreements, as well as reduce the impact of oil and hazardous substances spills. Another prevention effort, minimizing marine debris, addresses commercial items as well as trash from recreational fishing and boating.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Outer Continental Shelf: Debate Over Oil and Gas Leasing and Revenue Sharing

Outer Continental Shelf: Debate Over Oil and Gas Leasing and Revenue Sharing

Date: July 15, 2008
Creator: Humphries, Marc
Description: Oil and gas leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has been an important issue in the debate over energy security and domestic energy resources. The Department of the Interior (DOI) released a comprehensive inventory of OCS resources in February 2006 that estimated reserves of 8.5 billion barrels of oil and 29.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Congress has imposed moratoria of the OCS since 1982 through the annual Interior appropriation bills. Proponents of the moratoria contend that offshore drilling would pose unacceptable environmental risks and threaten coastal tourism industries. This report analyzes this issue in-depth, including budgetary information and relevant legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Outer Continental Shelf: Debate Over Oil and Gas Leasing and Revenue Sharing

Outer Continental Shelf: Debate Over Oil and Gas Leasing and Revenue Sharing

Date: January 22, 2008
Creator: Humphries, Marc
Description: Oil and gas leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has been an important issue in the debate over energy security and domestic energy resources. The Department of the Interior (DOI) released a comprehensive inventory of OCS resources in February 2006 that estimated reserves of 8.5 billion barrels of oil and 29.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Congress has imposed moratoria of the OCS since 1982 through the annual Interior appropriation bills. Proponents of the moratoria contend that offshore drilling would pose unacceptable environmental risks and threaten coastal tourism industries. This report analyzes this issue in-depth, including budgetary information and relevant legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy

The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy

Date: June 16, 2006
Creator: Browne, Marjorie Ann
Description: On November 16, 1994, the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention entered into force but without accession by the United States. The major part of the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention had been supported by U.s. Administrations, beginning with President Reagan, as fulfilling U.S. interests in having a comprehensive legal framework relating to competing uses of the world's oceans. However, the United States and many industrialized countries found some of the provisions relating to deep seabed mining in Part XI and Annexes III and IV of the Convention contrary to their interests and would not sign or act to ratify the Convention. A number of questions face the Senate as it considers the Convention/Agreement package, including the following: 1) Does the Agreement sufficiently resolve opposing concerns about the deep seabed mining provisions? 2) What precedent does U.S. acceptance of the Convention/Agreement definition of the common heritage of mankind concept establish? 3) What authority should Congress exert over the expenses of another international organization (the International Seabed Authority)?
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department