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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: October 8, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened concerns about the region's future. Issues such as Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation, competition, or conflict. 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
Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain

Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain

Date: September 30, 2010
Creator: Humphries, Marc
Description: The concentration of production of rare earth elements (REEs) outside the United States raises the important issue of supply vulnerability. REEs are used for new energy technologies and national security applications. This report provides a discussion on the major issues and concerns of the global supply chain for rare earth elements, their major end uses, and legislative and other policy proposals that Congress may consider to improve the U.S. rare earth position.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Helium-3 Shortage: Supply, Demand, and Options for Congress

The Helium-3 Shortage: Supply, Demand, and Options for Congress

Date: September 21, 2010
Creator: Shea, Dana A. & Morgan, Daniel
Description: The world is experiencing a shortage of helium-3, a rare isotope of helium with applications in homeland security, national security, medicine, industry, and science. Federal officials have testified that the shortage is acute and, unless alternatives are found, will affect federal investments in homeland security, scientific research, and other areas. This report discusses the nature of the shortage; federal actions undertaken so far to address it; current and potential sources of helium-3 and options for increasing the supply; current and projected uses of helium-3 and options for reducing the demand; and options for allocating the supply if it continues to fall short of demand.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Wildfire Damages to Homes and Resources: Understanding Causes and Reducing Losses

Wildfire Damages to Homes and Resources: Understanding Causes and Reducing Losses

Date: March 12, 2012
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi
Description: Wildfires are getting more severe, with more acres and houses burned and more people at risk. This results from excess biomass in the forests, due to past logging and grazing and a century of fire suppression, combined with an expanding wild land-urban interface-more people and houses in and near the forests-and climate change, exacerbating drought and insect and disease problems. This report looks at the causes of wildfires, and the pros and cons of their treatment.
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: February 27, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. The Arctic has increasingly become a subject of discussion among political leaders of the nations in the region. In varying degrees, the Arctic coastal states have indicated a willingness to establish and maintain a military presence in the high north. U.S. military forces, particularly the Navy and Coast Guard, have begun to pay more attention to the region.
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: December 23, 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. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Lacey Act: Protecting the Environment by Restricting Trade

The Lacey Act: Protecting the Environment by Restricting Trade

Date: April 12, 2012
Creator: Alexander, Kristina
Description: This report looks at the history and applications of the Lacey Act. As it stands now the Act, via a 2008 amendment, allows the U.S. to enforce the laws of other countries as well. One currently proposed legislation would limit application of the law to specific wood products, while another would eliminate any reference to violations of foreign laws and end criminal prosecutions for violating the act.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
China's Rare Earth Industry and Export Regime: Economic and Trade Implications for the United States

China's Rare Earth Industry and Export Regime: Economic and Trade Implications for the United States

Date: April 30, 2012
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Tang, Rachel
Description: Over the past few years, the Chinese government has implemented a number of policies to tighten its control over the production and export of "rare earths"-a unique group of 17 metal elements on the periodic table that exhibit a range of special properties, such as magnetism, luminescence, and strength. Rare earths are important to a number of high technology industries, including renewable energy and various defense systems. This report examines the economic and trade implications of China's rare earth policies for the United States.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Forest Fire/Wildfire Protection

Forest Fire/Wildfire Protection

Date: March 7, 2012
Creator: Gorte, Ross W. & Bracmort, Kelsi
Description: Congress continues to face questions about forestry practices, funding levels, and the federal role in wildfire protection. Recent fire seasons have been, by most standards, among the worst in the past half century. This report looks at factors contributing to wildfires as well as active and preventative treatments for wildfires.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): A Primer for the 112th Congress

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): A Primer for the 112th Congress

Date: June 15, 2011
Creator: Corn, M. Lynne; Ratner, Michael & Alexander, Kristina
Description: In the ongoing energy debate in Congress, one issue has been whether to approve energy development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR or Refuge) in northeastern Alaska or whether to continue to prohibit development to protect the area's biological, recreational, and subsistence values. ANWR is rich in fauna, flora, and oil and natural gas potential. Its development has been debated for more than 50 years, but sharp increases in energy prices from late 2000 to early 2001, in 2004-2008, and in 2011 from a variety of causes (e.g., terrorist attacks, oil spills, and energy infrastructure damage from hurricanes), have repeatedly intensified the debate. This primer provides background for analyzing the various claims through an examination of its history, and an analysis of its geological, biological, human, and economic resources.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department