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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Biotechnology, Indigenous Peoples, and Intellectual Property Rights
This report examines intellectual property right in pharmaceuticals in a particular context, namely, medicinal products and processes derived from the biodiversity resources of areas inhabited by indigenous peoples. This report discusses the international law regarding intellectual property rights in traditional knowledge and the American laws regarding traditional knowledge. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8176/
Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been seeking congressional approval for a $1.1 billion multi-year program to both construct five projects that would help to restore specified sites in the coastal wetland ecosystem in Louisiana, and to continue planning several other related projects. The state of Louisiana and several federal agencies have participated in the development of this program. This report introduces this program and restoration options that are being discussed in the wake of the hurricanes. It also discusses whether this program, if completed, might have muted the impacts of these hurricanes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8785/
Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been seeking congressional approval for a $1.1 billion multi-year program to both construct five projects that would help to restore specified sites in the coastal wetland ecosystem in Louisiana, and to continue planning several other related projects. The state of Louisiana and several federal agencies have participated in the development of this program. This report introduces this program and restoration options that are being discussed in the wake of the hurricanes. It also discusses whether this program, if completed, might have muted the impacts of these hurricanes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9020/
Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration: The Recommended Corps Plan
The Corps estimates that this entire package of recommended activities would cost a total of $1,996 million. Included in this package are recommendations for immediate authorization ($1,123 million), further authorized investigation ($145 million), and projects that could be authorized in the future ($728 million). This CRS short report is limited to a summary of this Corps report and the next steps in implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9108/
International Forest Agreements: Current Status
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs194/
NASA's Earth Science Enterprise
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1216/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689373/
Marine Dead Zones: Understanding the Problem
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs740/
The Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is one of the largest energy conservation programs in the nation. The DOE program is implemented in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Native American Tribes. It weatherizes an average of 70,000 dwellings per year. The program strives to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings occupied by low-income persons in order to reduce their energy consumption and lower their fuel bills. It targets vulnerable groups including the elderly, people with disabilities, and families with children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1678/
The Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is one of the largest energy conservation programs in the nation. The DOE program is implemented in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Native American Tribes. It weatherizes an average of 70,000 dwellings per year. The program strives to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings occupied by low-income persons in order to reduce their energy consumption and lower their fuel bills. It targets vulnerable groups including the elderly, people with disabilities, and families with children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2681/
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs
This report describes federal programs that provide grants, loans, loan guarantees, and other direct or indirect incentives for energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable energy. For each program, the report provides the administering agency, authorizing statute(s), annual funding, and the program expiration date. The appendixes provide summary information in a tabular format and also list recently expired programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc267824/
Acid Rain: Does it Contribute to Forest Decline?
This minibrief describes the major hypothesis explaining why acid rain may be contributing to forest decline, along with the major arguments against this hypothesis. For additional information on acid rain and current legislation for pollutant emissions controls, see IB83016 -- Acid Rain: Current Issues, and IB83005 -- Clean Air Act: An Overview. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9048/
Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues
Since the first genetically engineered (GE) crops (also called GM [genetically modified] crops, or GMOs, genetically modified organisms) became commercially available in the mid-1990s, U.S. soybean, cotton, and corn farmers have rapidly adopted them. As adoption has spread, there have been policy debates over the costs and benefits of GE products. Issues include the impacts of GE crops on the environment and food safety, and whether GE foods should be specially labeled. Congress generally has been supportive of GE agricultural products, although some Members have expressed wariness about their adoption and regulation. The 109th Congress will likely continue to follow trade developments, particularly the U.S.-EU dispute, as well as U.S. regulatory mechanisms for approving biotech foods. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9392/
Agreements to Promote Fishery Conservation and Management in International Waters
Declining fish populations threaten an important food source. Natural catastrophes, pollution, habitat destruction, and overfishing contribute to the depletion of fish stocks. Overexploitation of fishery resources often occurs when management allows expanding and increasingly efficient fishing fleets to continue harvesting dwindling supplies. Although prevalent, overexploitation is not universal and its extent varies among areas, species, and fisheries. This report discusses the issue of overfishing and its possible consequences, as well as domestic and international efforts to combat overfishing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs341/
The Abandoned Mine Land Fund: Grants Distribution and Issues
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA, P.L. 95-87), enacted in 1977, established reclamation standards for all coal surface mining operations, and for the surface effects of underground mining. It also established the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program to promote the reclamation of sites mined and abandoned prior to the enactment of SMCRA. To finance reclamation of abandoned mine sites, the legislation established fees on coal production. These collections are divided into federal and state shares; subject to annual appropriation, AML funds are distributed annually to states with approved reclamation programs. This report describes the distribution of these funds and the various issues that arise from said distribution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs398/
The Department of Energy's Tritium Production Program
Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen used to enhance the explosive yield of every thermonuclear weapon. Tritium has a radioactive decay rate of 5.5% per year and has not been produced in this country for weapons purposes since 1988. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs752/
Mining in National Parks and Wilderness Areas: Policy, Rules, Activity
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs353/
Deforestation: An Overview of Global Programs and Agreements
In recent years, global environmental concerns have figured prominently on the American political agenda. In particular, tropical deforestation and its implications for global climate change and biological diversity loss have prompted public outcry. Concerns have since grown to include other forest types as well. The Congress has considered a variety of legislation to stem the tide of increasing deforestation and the United States has supported a number of bilateral and multilateral initiatives to assist other countries in managing their forest resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs35/
Mahoganies: International Protection?
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs144/
The Federal Helium Program: The Reaction Over an Inert Gas
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs343/
An Overview of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE)
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs232/
The Rural Abandoned Mine Program - A Fact Sheet
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs236/
The "Timber Rider": Section 2001 of the Rescissions Act
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs347/
The Salvage Timber Sale Rider: Overview and Policy Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs348/
Federal Land Management: Appeals and Litigation
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs473/
Survey of Recent State Policies to Manage Growth and Protect Open Space
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8627/
Trade and Environment: Treatment in Recent Agreements--GATT and NAFTA
This report reviews some of the concerns surrounding the environment work program and other environmental issues. It briefly describes work underway in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and current thinking underlying development of U.S. positions on trade and the environment in the GATT. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26036/
Marine Protected Areas: An Overview
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are generally defined as areas reserved by law or other effective means to protect part or all of the enclosed environment. 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. It concludes by considering potential areas of congressional interest for the 111th Congress. Existing federal laws related to the use of MPAs are summarized in the Appendix. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29650/
Mercury Emissions from Electric Power Plants: States are Setting Stricter Limits
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9476/
The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos and Carabell
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9991/
The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos and Carabell
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9967/
The Weatherization Assistance Program: A Fact Sheet
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10007/
Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): Army Corps of Engineers Authorization Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9451/
Water Quality: Implementing the Clean Water Act
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10136/
Upper Mississippi River - Illinois Waterway Navigation Expansion: An Agricultural Transportation and Environmental Context
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9657/
Upper Mississippi River - Illinois Waterway Navigation Expansion: An Agricultural Transportation and Environmental Context
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9654/
U.S. Agricultural Biotechnology in Global Markets: An Introduction
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9639/
U.S. Agricultural Biotechnology in Global Markets: An Introduction
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9643/
The Role of Designation of Critical Habitat under the Endangered Species Act
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs853/
The Role of Designation of Critical Habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10046/
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs
This report describes federal programs that provide grants, loans, loan guarantees, and other direct or indirect regulatory incentives for energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable energy. For each program, the report provides the administering agency, authorizing statute(s), annual funding, and the program expiration date. The appendixes provide summary information in a tabular format. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99013/
Regulation of Plant-Based Pharmaceuticals
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9207/
Reauthorization of the Endangered Species Act
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8791/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
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. 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 or competition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743426/
Grazing Regulations: Changes by the Bureau of Land Management
This report discusses the two-pronged approach to grazing reform the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is taking by proposing changes to grazing regulations and considering other changes to grazing policies. BLM asserts that regulatory changes are needed to increase flexibility for grazing managers and permittees, to improve rangeland management and grazing permit administration, to promote conservation, and to comply with court decisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9125/
Disaster Tax Relief for the Midwest
The Midwestern Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2008 is intended to assist with the recovery from the severe weather that affected the Midwest during the summer of 2008. The Jobs, Energy, Families, and Disaster Relief Act of 2008 includes some similar provisions, but these are not limited to the Midwest disaster. The disaster relief in the three bills is similar to that provided to assist with the recovery from the 2005 hurricanes and the 2007 Kansas tornadoes. This report broadly discusses the disaster relief provisions in other relevant legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10785/
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration
This report introduces the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration program, and discusses whether it might have muted the impacts of hurricanes of the magnitude and paths of Katrina or Rita and whether the devastation caused by both hurricanes might cause the Corps to consider different restoration options. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8744/
Measuring and Monitoring Carbon in the Agricultural and Forestry Sectors
Proposals to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases often include the use of forestry and agricultural practices and lands for carbon sequestration. However, uncertainty about the accuracy of measuring carbon from these activities has led some to question this potential. Basic approaches for measuring forest and agricultural carbon include on-site measurement; indirect measurement from off-site tools; and estimation using models or inferences. Because of challenges associated with balancing the cost and accuracy of these measurement tools, any practicable system for measuring forest and agricultural carbon might require a mix of these approaches. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10802/
Forestry Assistance Programs
This report describes the current forestry assistance programs funded through the State and Private Forestry (S&PF) branch of the Forest Service. Following a brief overview, the report presents basic information on the programs to assist forestry practices, forest protection, and rural economies — purposes of the programs, types of activities funded, eligibility requirements, and authorized program duration and funding level, with recent program appropriations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9093/
Funding Plant and Animal Health Emergencies: Transfers from the Commodity Credit Corporation
This report examines the Secretary of Agriculture's authority to transfer funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for emergency control programs. The Secretary’s use of this authority has increased in recent years, and has become an issue within government concerning the method for funding plant and animal health programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9122/