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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Keeping America's Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress
Nearly half a million miles of pipeline transporting natural gas, oil, and other hazardous liquids crisscross the United States. While an efficient and fundamentally safe means of transport, many pipelines carry materials with the potential to cause public injury and environmental damage. The nation's pipeline networks are also widespread and vulnerable to accidents and terrorist attack. As it oversees the federal pipeline safety program and the federal role in pipeline security, Congress may wish to assess how the various elements of U.S. pipeline safety and security fit together in the nation's overall strategy to protect transportation infrastructure. Pipeline safety and security necessarily involve many groups: federal agencies, oil and gas pipeline associations, large and small pipeline operators, and local communities. Reviewing how these groups work together to achieve common goals could be an oversight challenge for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86570/
Waiver Authority Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
This report provides a brief overview of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program and discusses the process and criteria for EPA to approve a waiver petition. Transportation fuels are required by federal law to contain a minimum amount of renewable fuel each year. The RFS, established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct, P.L. 109-58) and amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA, P.L. 110-140), requires that 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended into gasoline and other transportation fuels in 2012. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122348/
Status of Mexican Trucks in the United States: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers frequently asked questions regarding the current plan to permit Mexican trucks into the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40163/
Surface Transportation Funding and Finance
This report discusses changes in funding to the national surface transportation infrastructure, especially in light of the recession that began in 2007, which led to decreases in driving and fuel use. This report focuses on possible revenue sources for surface transportation infrastructure. It begins with a brief discussion of the problems associated with the trust fund financing system and then explores possible immediate and longer-term solutions to the financing problem. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29595/
Essential Air Service (EAS): Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides an overview of the Essential Air Service (EAS) program and the legislative issues surrounding it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122207/
Essential Air Service: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides an overview of the Essential Air Service (EAS) program and the legislative issues surrounding it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103139/
The Renewable Fuel Standard: In Brief
This report provides a basic description of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), including some of the widely discussed issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272064/
Essential Air Service (EAS): Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides an overview of the Essential Air Service (EAS) program and discusses the changes introduced by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282327/
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program
This report provides background on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program and discusses spending during FY2014 and the proposed budget for FY 2015. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306493/
Waiver Authority Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
This report provides a brief overview of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program and discusses the process and criteria for EPA to approve a waiver petition. Transportation fuels are required by federal law to contain a minimum amount of renewable fuel each year. The RFS, established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct, P.L. 109-58) and amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA, P.L. 110-140), requires that 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended into gasoline and other transportation fuels in 2012. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276939/
Changes in Airport Passenger Screening Technologies and Procedures: Frequently Asked Questions
This report contains answers to numerous questions regarding airport passenger screening. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103113/
F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the past four years of administration proposals to terminate the program to develop the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 engine as an alternative to the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine that currently powers the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). These proposals have been continually rejected by Congress. The Obama Administration's FY2011 budget submission against proposes to terminate the program. This report explores both sides of the termination argument. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83940/
Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline: Legal Issues
This report reviews those legal issues. First, it suggests that legislation related to cross-border facility permitting is unlikely to raise significant constitutional questions, despite the fact that such permits have traditionally been handled by the executive branch alone pursuant to its constitutional "foreign affairs" authority. Next, it observes generally that state oversight of pipeline siting decisions does not appear to violate existing federal law or the Constitution. Finally, the report suggests that State Department's implementation of the existing authority to issue presidential permits appears to allow for judicial review of its National Environmental Policy Act determinations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84012/
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report looks at the cost of funding the Coast Guard's program of record's (POR) call for procuring eight National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft. It also addresses issues for maintenance, future acquisition, and definitions of the types of cutters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93935/
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report looks at the cost of funding the Coast Guard's program of record's (POR) call for procuring eight National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft. It also addresses issues for maintenance, future acquisition, and definitions of the types of cutters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93936/
F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the past four years of administration proposals to terminate the program to develop the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 engine as an alternative to the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine that currently powers the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). These proposals have been continually rejected by Congress. The Obama Administration's FY2011 budget submission against proposes to terminate the program. This report explores both sides of the termination argument. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40091/
F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the past four years of administration proposals to terminate the program to develop the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 engine as an alternative to the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine that currently powers the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). These proposals have been continually rejected by Congress. The Obama Administration's FY2011 budget submission against proposes to terminate the program. This report explores both sides of the termination argument. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31353/
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report looks at the cost to fund the Coast Guard's program of record's (POR) call for procuring eight National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft. It also addresses issues for maintenance, future acquisition, and definitions of the types of cutters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99067/
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report looks at the cost of funding the Coast Guard's program of record's (POR) call for procuring eight National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft. It also addresses issues for maintenance, future acquisition, and definitions of the types of cutters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98023/
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
Report that provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring eight National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227771/
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
Report that provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227772/
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272030/
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282329/
U.S. Rail Transportation of Crude Oil: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the challenges in the transportation of oil, as refineries that once received crude oil principally from oceangoing tankers are now seeing increasing deliveries by domestic transport. It also outlines possible issues for Congress including rail transport of oil versus pipelines, and the possible increase of oil spills from rail transport. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306472/
Highway and Public Transportation Infrastructure Provision Using Public-Private Partnerships (P3s)
This report discusses two broad policy options for Congress as it considers reauthorizing federal surface transportation programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284451/
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284515/
U.S. Rail Transportation of Crude Oil: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the challenges in the transportation of oil, as refineries that once received crude oil principally from oceangoing tankers are now seeing increasing deliveries by domestic transport. It also outlines possible issues for Congress including rail transport of oil versus pipelines, and the possible increase of oil spills from rail transport. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276861/
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD): FY2013 Appropriations
This report looks at Congress's FY2013 budget allocations for the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) appropriations subcommittee. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93942/
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and presents potential issues (and costs) for Congress concerning the Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103176/
EPA's Proposed Vessel General Permits: Background and Issues
This report covers two proposed permit drafts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding Vessel General Permits (VGPs): one for large vessels to replace the 2008 VGP (draft VGP), and one for smaller vessels that currently are covered by a congressionally-enacted temporary moratorium (draft sVGP). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96715/
Battery Manufacturing for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles: Policy Issues
This report examines the nascent battery manufacturing industry and considers efforts to strengthen U.S. capacity to manufacture batteries and battery components for hybrid and electric vehicles. It addresses the concern about an electric vehicle supply chain in the United States since manufacturers have brought hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fully-electric vehicles to market. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99028/
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress
Alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles are seen by proponents as integral to improving urban air quality, decreasing dependence on foreign oil, and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. However, major barriers—especially economics—currently prevent the widespread use of these fuels and technologies. The 112th Congress has debated alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles directly and as it has addressed other key topics. On June 16, 2011 the Senate approved S.Amdt. 476 which would have eliminated the excise tax credit for blending ethanol in gasoline before its December 31, 2011 expiration date. Although the underlying legislation failed a cloture vote in the Senate, the amendment was approved 73-27. The prospects for further action increasing or extending biofuels and alternative fuels tax incentives may be limited in light of that vote. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87129/
Airport Body Scanners: The Role of Advanced Imaging Technology in Airline Passenger Screening
This report looks at privacy and health issues, as well as effectiveness, of advanced imaging technology (AIT) scanners at airports deployed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122258/
Piracy: A Legal Definition
Pirate attacks in the waters off the Horn of Africa, including those on U.S.-flagged vessels, have brought continued U.S. and international attention to the long-standing problem of piracy in the region. A recent development in one of the piracy trials in Norfolk, VA, has highlighted a potential limitation in the definition of piracy under the United States Code. This report first examines the historical development of the offense of piracy, as defined by Congress and codified in the United States Code. The focus then turns to how contemporary international agreements define piracy. Finally, the report highlights a recent federal district court ruling that the offense of piracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1651 requires a robbery at sea. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29617/
Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Expenditures
In 1986, the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) was enacted to fund U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE or the Corps) activities related to the routine operation and maintenance (O&M) of harbors, namely the dredging of harbor channels to their authorized depths and widths. Economic and equity issues related to HMT expenditures and collections are the main focus of this report. Before analyzing these issues, the report reviews the legislative history of the tax and legal challenges to it, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of alternative funding mechanisms, and describes the commercial context of current dredging activity. The last section identifies legislation related to harbor maintenance funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31466/
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
Report that provides background information for Congress concerning the U.S. Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans. It includes information about costs and issues, such as the planned size of the Navy, the rate of ship procurement, and the affordability of the plans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228002/
Funding and Financing Highways and Public Transportation
This report begins with a discussion of the problems associated with the trust fund financing system (which supports both federal highway and public transportation programs) and then explores possible options for financing surface transportation infrastructure. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227843/
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
Report that provides background information and presents potential issues (and costs) for Congress concerning the U.S. Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228001/
Federal Civil Aviation Programs: In Brief
This report discusses the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs and activities are funded under four broad budget accounts: operations and maintenance (such as air traffic control and aviation safety functions); facilities and equipment (such as control towers and navigation beacons); grants for airport improvements under the airports improvement program (AIP); and civil aviation research and development conducted or sponsored by FAA. Additionally, aviation programs fund aviation programs administered by the Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of the Secretary, including the Essential Air Service Program that subsidizes airline service to certain small and isolated communities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272035/
U.S. Travel and Tourism: Industry Trends and Policy Issues for Congress
This report discusses the travel and tourism industry, which is an amalgam of business activities including transportation, lodging, entertainment, meals, and retail trade. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306430/
Emergency Relief for Disaster Damaged Roads and Transit Systems: In Brief
This report describes Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) assistance for the repair and reconstruction of highways and bridges damaged by disasters (such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012) or catastrophic failures (such as the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge in 2013). It begins with a brief discussion of the legislative origins of federal assistance and then addresses eligibility issues and program operation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276855/
Federal-Aid Highway Program (FAHP): An Overview
This report looks at how the Federal-Aid Highway Program (FAHP) works, including its funding and administration by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122276/
Positive Train Control (PTC): Overview and Policy Issues
This report gives and overview of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 and discusses policy issues related to it. Congress passed the Act following several high-profile train accidents; it mandates positive train control (PTC) on many passenger and freight railroads by December 31, 2015. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122232/
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA): Overview of Workers' Compensation for Certain Private- Sector Maritime Workers
This report discusses the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), a federal workers' compensation program that covers certain private-sector maritime workers. More than $980 million in LHWCA benefits are paid each year. The LHWCA is administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) and all benefit costs are paid by employers and their insurance carriers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31386/
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization: An Overview of Legislative Action in the 112th Congress
This report looks at issues faced by the 112th Congress in regards to reauthorization of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs. The House has passed a bill which would authorize programs through FY2014, while the Senate's bill would only last until FY2011. The Senate's bill also proposes an increase in jet fuel tax for general aviation and a new jet fuel surcharge for fractionally owned air crafts. The report covers key issues that need to be addressed for reconciliation between the two bills. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93870/
Cars, Trucks, and Climate: EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases from Mobile Sources
As Congress and the Administration considered new legislation to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change over the last year and a half (a process that has now stalled), the Environmental Protection Agency simultaneously began to exercise its existing authority under the Clean Air Act to set standards for GHG emissions. The Administration has made clear that its preference would be for Congress to address the climate issue through new legislation. Nevertheless, it is moving forward on several fronts to define how the Clean Air Act will be used and to promulgate regulations. This report covers the steps that the Administration is taking on this topic. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93816/
Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues For Congress
This brief discusses the major issues for Congress which include whether to increase inland waterway funding in the future (and by what amount); the appropriate type of revenue stream (e.g., fuel taxes or lockage fees) for the user-required portion of these projects; division of the cost-share responsibilities between the federal government and commercial users (e.g., 50/50 or some other division); and whether to initiate process-based recommendations that some argue will improve the delivery and efficiency of Corps-led IWTF projects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85386/
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and presents potential issues for Congress concerning the Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans, particularly the planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans. Decisions that Congress makes on Navy shipbuilding programs can substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98074/
Earthquake Risk and U.S. Highway Infrastructure: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses frequently asked questions about the risk from earthquakes to highway systems, including bridges, tunnels, pavements, and other highway components. Particular attention is given to highway bridges, which often are the most vulnerable highway structures. The report also discusses federal and nonfederal actions to reduce seismic risk to the U.S. highway system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99050/
Federal Civil Aviation Programs: An Overview
This report focuses on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) civil aviation programs addressed in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-95), enacted on February 14, 2012, which authorizes AATF taxes and revenue collections and civil aviation program expenditures through FY2015. Programs for these agencies are funded primarily through a special trust fund, the airport and airways trust fund (AATF), and, in part, through general fund contributions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122272/