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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Trade Facilitation, Enforcement, and Security
This report describes and analyzes U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) role in the U.S. import process. (The report does not cover CBP's role in the U.S. export control system.) digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463306/
Keystone XL Pipeline: Overview and Recent Developments
This report describes the Keystone XL Pipeline Project and the process that the State Department must complete to decide whether it will approve or deny TransCanada's permit application. The report also discusses key energy security, economic, and environmental issues relevant to the State Department's national interest determination. Some of these issues include perspectives among various stakeholders both in favor of and opposed to the construction of the pipeline. Finally, the report discusses the constitutional basis for the State Department's authority to issue a Presidential Permit, and opponents' possible challenges to this authority. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491430/
Piracy: A Legal Definition
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 developments in two trials involving charges of piracy in the federal district court in Norfolk, VA, United States v. Said and United States v. Hasan, specifically focusing on how the courts interpreted the definition of piracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1651. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491492/
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/metadc491550/
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/metadc491216/
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/metadc463298/
Public-Private Partnerships in Highway and Transit Infrastructure Provision
This report begins with a brief discussion of the surface transportation system and its financing needs as background to the debate on public-private partnerships (PPPs). That is followed by sections describing the different types of PPPs, with details of a few prominent examples, and the development of federal legislation with respect to PPPs. The report then discusses the main issues of contention with the construction and longterm leasing of highways by the private sector, particularly as they relate to the funding, planning, and operation of the surface transportation system, before providing some policy options Congress may wish to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463355/
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization: An Overview of Legislative Action in the 111th Congress
This report tracks the status of ongoing legislative action and debate related to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization. It is organized into six major program areas: aviation system finance; airport financing; FAA management and organizational issues; system capacity and safety; environmental issues; and airline industry issues. In several cases, provisions that appear in various unrelated sections of proposed legislation have been rearranged in this report in an effort to group and discuss related items in an issue-driven or programmatic context. Since this report is primarily written as a means of communicating key legislative provisions under consideration in the ongoing FAA reauthorization process, it does not go into detail regarding the specific policy issues behind these legislative proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501822/
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization: An Overview of Legislative Action in the 111th Congress
This report tracks the status of ongoing legislative action and debate related to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization. It is organized into six major program areas: aviation system finance; airport financing; FAA management and organizational issues; system capacity and safety; environmental issues; and airline industry issues. In several cases, provisions that appear in various unrelated sections of proposed legislation have been rearranged in this report in an effort to group and discuss related items in an issue-driven or programmatic context. Since this report is primarily written as a means of communicating key legislative provisions under consideration in the ongoing FAA reauthorization process, it does not go into detail regarding the specific policy issues behind these legislative proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501679/
Keystone XL Pipeline: Overview and Recent Developments
This report describes the Keystone XL Pipeline Project and the process that the State Department must complete to decide whether it will approve or deny TransCanada's permit application. The report also discusses key energy security, economic, and environmental issues relevant to the State Department's national interest determination. Some of these issues include perspectives among various stakeholders both in favor of and opposed to the construction of the pipeline. Finally, the report discusses the constitutional basis for the State Department's authority to issue a Presidential Permit, and opponents' possible challenges to this authority. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501972/
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization: An Overview of Legislative Action in the 111th Congress
This report tracks the status of ongoing legislative action and debate related to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization. It is organized into six major program areas: aviation system finance; airport financing; FAA management and organizational issues; system capacity and safety; environmental issues; and airline industry issues. In several cases, provisions that appear in various unrelated sections of proposed legislation have been rearranged in this report in an effort to group and discuss related items in an issue-driven or programmatic context. Since this report is primarily written as a means of communicating key legislative provisions under consideration in the ongoing FAA reauthorization process, it does not go into detail regarding the specific policy issues behind these legislative proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501548/
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization: An Overview of Legislative Action in the 111th Congress
This report tracks the status of ongoing legislative action and debate related to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization. It is organized into six major program areas: aviation system finance; airport financing; FAA management and organizational issues; system capacity and safety; environmental issues; and airline industry issues. In several cases, provisions that appear in various unrelated sections of proposed legislation have been rearranged in this report in an effort to group and discuss related items in an issue-driven or programmatic context. Since this report is primarily written as a means of communicating key legislative provisions under consideration in the ongoing FAA reauthorization process, it does not go into detail regarding the specific policy issues behind these legislative proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501797/
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/metadc501746/
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). These 91 planned cutters are intended as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft. The Coast Guard began procuring NSCs and FRCs a few years ago, and the first few NSCs and FRCs are now in service. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501745/
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/metadc503338/
EPA's 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/metadc503309/
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). This report explores both sides of the termination argument. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503383/
Surface Transportation Reauthorization: Environmental Issues and Legislative Provisions in SAFETEA-LU (H.R. 3)
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9256/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
Airport and Airway Trust Fund Issues in the 106th Congress
This report briefly discusses the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR21 or FAIR21), which helps ensure that all aviation trust fund receipts (including interest) are spent for aviation purposes on an annual basis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1342/
Aircraft Hushkits: Noise and International Trade
This report discusses aircraft noise regulations as they relate to hushkits, which is a combination of strategies designed to reduce aircraft noise. These strategies can include new technologies, redesigned engine enclosures, replacement engine components, entirely new engines, or a combination of any of the above. This report dicusses the new EU regulation limiting hushkitted commercial jet aircraft in the EU, the United States' response to this regulation, and the effect this could have on international air travel relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1341/
C-17 Cargo Aircraft Program
The C-17 Globemaster III is a long-range cargo/transport aircraft operated by the U.S. Air Force since 1993. Congress approved development of the aircraft in the late 1970s, when it was recognized that the Air Force did not have enough airlift capability. In 1981, the McDonnell Douglas C-17 emerged as winner of a competition with Boeing and Lockheed to develop a next-generation aircraft to replace C-130s and C-141s. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1340/
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/
Transit Program Reauthorization in the 108th Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7577/
Advanced Vehicle Technologies: Energy, Environment, and Development Issues
This report discusses three major vehicle technologies — electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles — as well as advanced component technologies. Each technology is discussed in terms of cost, fueling and maintenance infrastructure, and performance. The report also discusses key legislation in the 108th Congress, as well as federal, state, and local activity relevant to these technologies. This report will be updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10035/
Amtrak and Energy Conservation: Background and Selected Public Policy Issues
A rationale for federal financial support to Amtrak has been that rail service conserves energy, compared to other forms of intercity passenger transportation. The numbers discussed in this report suggest that the rationale might not be valid with regard to autos and buses. The report discusses some public policy implications that could follow from that conclusion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1034/
Upper Mississippi River System: Proposals to Restore an Inland Waterway's Ecosystem
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10085/
Aviation: Direct Federal Spending, 1918-1998
The federal government has provided large financial resources in support of commercial aviation since 1918. This report details the amounts and types of federal spending that have occurred over this 80 year period. The report also discusses some of the issues that have shaped federal policy toward aviation and identifies some of the issues likely to affect federal spending in the future. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1039/
Diesel Fuel and Engines: An Overview of New Emissions Regulations
This report reviews the final regulations on diesel fuel and diesel engine emissions signed by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner December 21, 2000 and promulgated January 18, 2001. This report examines the rule’s potential impacts on fuel supply, summarizes the issues related to pollution controls, discusses potential impacts on the economy, and discusses issues raised by the timing and implementation schedule of the proposed rule. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1070/
Imported Automobiles in the United States: Their Rising Market Share and the Macroeconomic Impact of a Proposed Import Restriction
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8147/
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress
This issue brief discusses the increasing attention being paid to alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles, the proponents of which point to their potential to improve urban air quality, decrease dependence on foreign oil, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The brief also discusses the major barriers currently preventing widespread use of such technologies, and discusses these technologies in the particular contexts of the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes and the Energy Policy Act of 2005. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8726/
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress
This issue brief discusses the increasing attention being paid to alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles, the proponents of which point to their potential to improve urban air quality, decrease dependence on foreign oil, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The brief also discusses the major barriers currently preventing widespread use of such technologies, and discusses these technologies in the particular contexts of the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes and the Energy Policy Act of 2005. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8723/
Air Cargo Security
The air cargo system is vulnerable to several security threats, including: potential plots to place explosives aboard aircraft; illegal shipments of hazardous materials; criminal activities such as smuggling and theft; and potential hijackings and sabotage by persons with access to aircraft. This report discusses legislative efforts currently underway to improve air cargo system security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8336/
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress
This issue brief discusses the increasing attention being paid to alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles, the proponents of which point to their potential to improve urban air quality, decrease dependence on foreign oil, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The brief also discusses the major barriers currently preventing widespread use of such technologies, and discusses these technologies in the particular contexts of the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes and the Energy Policy Act of 2005. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8750/
Port and Maritime Security: Background and Issues for Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5040/
Maritime Security: Overview of Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5044/
Maritime Security: Overview of Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5043/
Securing General Aviation
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8253/
Automobile Domestic Content Requirements
In response to the lowest drop of American produced automobile sales in two decades and other related conditions, legislation has been introduced that would impose domestic (local) content ratios for automotive vehicles. These would require that cars and trucks sold in the United States in large quantities contain a certain percentage of American parts and labor. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8793/
No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8396/
EPA's Tier 2 Proposal for Stricter Vehicle Emission Standards: A Fact Sheet
The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 established "Tier 1" standards to limit tailpipe emissions from new motor vehicles, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to determine if more stringent requirements are needed to attain or maintain National Ambient Air Quality Standards. EPA also must assess the availability and cost-effectiveness of technologies necessary to control emissions. In a report submitted to Congress in August 1998, EPA concluded that tougher standards are necessary and that essential technologies are available and cost-effective digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs850/
Air Cargo Security
The air cargo system is vulnerable to several security threats, including: potential plots to place explosives aboard aircraft; illegal shipments of hazardous materials; criminal activities such as smuggling and theft; and potential hijackings and sabotage by persons with access to aircraft. This report discusses legislative efforts currently underway to improve air cargo system security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5620/
Y2K Challenges and Transportation: Risks and Solutions
Many companies or governmental entities provide or use transportation systems that are heavily dependent on computers, software, and other technologies that do not have Y2K problems, e.g., they are Y2K compliant or ready. Some transportation systems, however, still use technologies with Y2K problems, which if left uncorrected, could pose safety risks or efficiency concerns on or after January 1, 2000. The extent and nature of those impacts are expected to vary among the modes of transportation and among various providers or users. In addition, Y2K-related problems occurring in the communications and energy industries could reduce the safety and efficiency of some transportation systems in early January 2000. Operations at some foreign ports and international air traffic control systems with Y2K problems also could adversely affect shipments and flights into and out of the United States. The total amount that has been spent to assess and fix Y2K problems affecting transportation is not known, but estimates suggest that at least $1 billion of private sector, transit authority, and federal funds have been or will soon be allocated for that purpose. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1029/
Port and Maritime Security: Background and Issues for Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6470/