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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Marine Protected Areas: An Overview

Marine Protected Areas: An Overview

Date: February 6, 2009
Creator: Upton, Harold F. & Buck, Eugene H.
Description: This report identifies a number of issues related to establishing MPAs in the United States. It begins by defining the concept and administrative actions taken to provide spatial protection in marine areas. It then considers some of the key issues and potential benefits and costs of designating additional MPAs.
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
Marine Protected Areas: An Overview

Marine Protected Areas: An Overview

Date: November 14, 2008
Creator: Upton, Harold F. & Buck, Eugene H.
Description: This report identifies a number of issues related to establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) in the United States. It begins by defining the concept and administrative actions taken to provide spatial protection in marine areas. It then considers some of the key issues and potential benefits and costs of designating additional MPAs. It concludes by summarizing current congressional interest in the topic and legislation proposed during the 110th Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Whales and Sonar: Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training

Whales and Sonar: Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training

Date: November 14, 2008
Creator: Alexander, Kristina
Description: This report discusses laws related to the protection of marine mammals when using mid-frequency active sonar including the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). The report discusses each of the laws generally, and then reviews the litigation surrounding the Navy's compliance with these laws in the context of using the sonar for training purposes off California's coast.
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
Issues Affecting Tidal, Wave, and In-Stream Generation Projects

Issues Affecting Tidal, Wave, and In-Stream Generation Projects

Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Lane, Nic
Description: This report provides an overview of developments and considerations regarding wave, tidal, and in-stream energy generation technology. It summarizes federal involvement in the regulation of this new industry and highlights current issues in the field.
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
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Date: September 18, 2008
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: This report discusses fish and marine mammals which are important resources in open ocean and near shore coastal areas. It also discusses many federal laws and regulations that guide their management.
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
Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress

Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress

Date: September 2, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: This report focuses on oil spills in U.S. coastal waters. The first section highlights background issues, including oil spill statistics and potential environmental impacts. The second section discusses the legal framework that governs oil spill prevention and response. The third section examines the threat of future oil spills in coastal waters and whether response personnel are prepared to respond to a major spill. The final section highlights recent legislative activity.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department