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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2008
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Outer Continental Shelf: Debate Over Oil and Gas Leasing and Revenue Sharing

Outer Continental Shelf: Debate Over Oil and Gas Leasing and Revenue Sharing

Date: January 22, 2008
Creator: Humphries, Marc
Description: Oil and gas leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has been an important issue in the debate over energy security and domestic energy resources. The Department of the Interior (DOI) released a comprehensive inventory of OCS resources in February 2006 that estimated reserves of 8.5 billion barrels of oil and 29.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Congress has imposed moratoria of the OCS since 1982 through the annual Interior appropriation bills. Proponents of the moratoria contend that offshore drilling would pose unacceptable environmental risks and threaten coastal tourism industries. This report analyzes this issue in-depth, including budgetary information and relevant legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Outer Continental Shelf: Debate Over Oil and Gas Leasing and Revenue Sharing

Outer Continental Shelf: Debate Over Oil and Gas Leasing and Revenue Sharing

Date: July 15, 2008
Creator: Humphries, Marc
Description: Oil and gas leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has been an important issue in the debate over energy security and domestic energy resources. The Department of the Interior (DOI) released a comprehensive inventory of OCS resources in February 2006 that estimated reserves of 8.5 billion barrels of oil and 29.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Congress has imposed moratoria of the OCS since 1982 through the annual Interior appropriation bills. Proponents of the moratoria contend that offshore drilling would pose unacceptable environmental risks and threaten coastal tourism industries. This report analyzes this issue in-depth, including budgetary information and relevant legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Regulation of Energy Derivatives

Regulation of Energy Derivatives

Date: May 12, 2008
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Description: After the collapse of Enron Corp. in late 2001, that company's activities came under intense scrutiny. Much of its business consisted of trading financial contracts whose value was derived from changes in energy prices. Enron's derivatives trading was largely "over-the-counter" (OTC) and unregulated: little information about transactions was available. This incident has sparked interest in reform of energy derivatives regulation. This report summarizes energy derivatives regulation and proposed legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Rising Oil Prices

U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Rising Oil Prices

Date: November 13, 2008
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: Petroleum prices rose sharply in the first half of 2008, at one time reaching more than $140 per barrel of crude oil. Since July, however, petroleum prices and import volumes have fallen at a historically rapid pace; in November, prices of crude oil fell below $55 per barrel. The fall in the cost of energy imports combined with the drop in import volumes as a result of the slowdown in economic activity has reversed the trend of rising energy imports costs and will sharply reduce the overall costs of U.S. energy imports for the rest of 2008. This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the rising oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Rising Oil Prices

U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Rising Oil Prices

Date: August 12, 2008
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: Petroleum prices have continued to rise sharply in 2008, at one time reaching more than $140 per barrel of crude oil. At the same time the average monthly volume of imports of energy-related petroleum products has fallen slightly. The combination of sharply rising prices and a slightly lower level of imports of energy-related petroleum products translates into an escalating cost for those imports. The prices of energy imports have been on a steady rise since summer of 2007, defying the pattern of declining energy import prices in the fall. This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the rising oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Rising Oil Prices

U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Rising Oil Prices

Date: October 10, 2008
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: Petroleum prices have continued to rise sharply in 2008, at one time reaching more than $140 per barrel of crude oil. At the same time the average monthly volume of imports of energy-related petroleum products has fallen slightly. The combination of sharply rising prices and a slightly lower level of imports of energy-related petroleum products translates into an escalating cost for those imports. The prices of energy imports have been on a steady rise since summer of 2007, defying the pattern of declining energy import prices in the fall. This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the rising oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Price Gouging," the Antitrust Laws, and Vertical Integration in the Petroleum Industry: How They Are Related

"Price Gouging," the Antitrust Laws, and Vertical Integration in the Petroleum Industry: How They Are Related

Date: May 28, 2008
Creator: unknown
Description: This report, which may be updated to further reflect congressional action, attempts to provide the antitrust context for prohibited practices, such as "price gouging"; notes prior congressional action concerning vertical divestiture in the petroleum industry; and provides information on the state "divorcement" statutes.
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
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
Coal Excise Tax Refunds: United States v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co.

Coal Excise Tax Refunds: United States v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co.

Date: May 16, 2008
Creator: Lunder, Erika
Description: In 1998, a U.S. district court held that the imposition of the coal excise tax, or black lung excise tax, on coal destined for export was unconstitutional. The process of refunding the tax has been controversial. This is because some coal producers and exporters have attempted to bypass the limitations in the Internal Revenue Code's refund scheme for bringing suit under the Export Clause in the Court of Federal Claims, seeking damages from the United States in the amount of coal excise taxes paid. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals held the court had jurisdiction under the Tucker Act to hear the suits and allowed them as an alternative to the Code's refund process. However, in a 2008 decision, United States v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co., the Supreme Court unanimously held that taxpayers must comply with the Code's administrative refund process before bringing suit. Meanwhile, H.R. 1762 and S. 373 would provide an alternative method for taxpayers to receive coal excise tax refunds.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Delegation of the Federal Power of Eminent Domain to Nonfederal Entities

Delegation of the Federal Power of Eminent Domain to Nonfederal Entities

Date: May 20, 2008
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: Congress has on several occasions delegated its power of eminent domain to entities outside the federal government -- public and private corporations, interstate compact agencies, state and local governments, and even individuals. The constitutionality of such delegation, and of the exercise of such power by even private delegates, is today beyond dispute. However, among delegates with both federal and private characteristics, there is some subjectivity to deciding which to list in a report limited to "nonfederal entities." For delegatees of federal eminent domain power listed here, delegations since 1920 have primarily been to Amtrak, hydroelectric facilities (for dams and reservoirs), and entities engaged in the movement of electricity, gas, and petroleum (the last one expired), and for interstate bridges.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress

U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress

Date: July 30, 2008
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Description: The United States and Russia signed a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement on May 6, 2008. President Bush submitted the agreement to Congress on May 13. This report discusses key policy issues related to that agreement, including future nuclear energy cooperation with Russia, U.S.-Russian bilateral relations, nonproliferation cooperation and Russia's policies toward Iran.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress

U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress

Date: June 26, 2008
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Description: The United States and Russia signed a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement on May 6, 2008. President Bush submitted the agreement to Congress on May 13. This report discusses key policy issues related to that agreement, including future nuclear energy cooperation with Russia, U.S.-Russian bilateral relations, nonproliferation cooperation, and Russia's policies toward Iran.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Enron Loophole

The Enron Loophole

Date: July 7, 2008
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Description: The Commodity Exchange Act exempts certain energy derivatives contracts from regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). These exemptions are popularly known as the "Enron loophole." Soaring energy prices have raised concerns about whether the CFTC has enough information about these unregulated markets to monitor energy trading in a comprehensive manner. A number of other bills in the 110th Congress would impose new reporting or regulatory requirements on the bilateral energy swaps market, which was not addressed by the Farm Bill.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Primer on Energy Derivatives and Their Regulation

Primer on Energy Derivatives and Their Regulation

Date: July 15, 2008
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Description: Prices of oil and other energy commodities are set in futures and derivatives markets, where producers, commercial users, and financial speculators buy and sell contracts whose value is linked to the price of the underlying commodity. Trading occurs on regulated futures exchanges and in a largely unregulated over-the-counter (OTC) market; both forms of trading are global in scope. This report presents basic information about these markets, the instruments traded, the regulatory framework, speculation, and current legislative proposals.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Department of Defense Fuel Costs in Iraq

Department of Defense Fuel Costs in Iraq

Date: July 23, 2008
Creator: Andrews, Anthony & Schwartz, Moshe
Description: Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the average price of fuels purchased for military operations in Iraq has steadily increased. The disparity between the higher price of fuel supplied to the United States Central Command compared to Iraq's civilian population has been a point of contention. Several factors contribute to the disparity, including the different types of fuel used by the military compared to Iraqi civilians, the Iraqi government's price subsidies, and the level pricing that the DOD's Defense Logistics Agency charges for military customers around the world. The Iraqi government has been pressured to reduce its fuel subsidy and black market fuel prices remain higher than the official subsidized price.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Oil Development on Federal Lands and the Outer Continental Shelf

Oil Development on Federal Lands and the Outer Continental Shelf

Date: August 6, 2008
Creator: Humphries, Marc
Description: Over the past year, crude oil prices have nearly doubled, reaching record levels. Proposals before Congress include a number of legislative initiatives to increase domestic oil production. These proposals have fallen into two broad categories: (1) to open areas of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) which are currently under leasing moratoria; and (2) to encourage companies holding oil and gas leases to diligently develop leases to bring them into production. Proponents of these initiatives argue that promising areas should be open for exploration to maximize domestic oil production as quickly as possible. However, there are long lead times and often numerous considerations and constraints in getting federal oil and gas leases from the lease sale into production. Many leases never get explored before their primary lease term expires.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer

Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer

Date: August 12, 2008
Creator: Kerr, Paul K. & Nikitin, Mary Beth
Description: In order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states, it must conclude a framework agreement that meets specific requirements under section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA). The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. Congressional review is required for section 123 agreements; the AEA establishes special "fast track" parliamentary procedures by which Congress may act on a proposed agreement.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Natural Gas Passenger Vehicles: Availability, Cost, and Performance

Natural Gas Passenger Vehicles: Availability, Cost, and Performance

Date: October 20, 2008
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: Higher gasoline prices and concerns over U.S. oil dependence have raised interest in natural gas vehicles (NGVs). Use of NGVs for personal transportation has focused on compressed natural gas (CNG) as an alternative to gasoline. Consumer interest has grown, both for new NGVs as well as for conversions of existing personal vehicles to run on CNG. This report finds that the market for natural gas vehicles will likely remain limited unless the differential between natural gas and gasoline prices remains high in order to offset the higher purchase price for an NGV. Conversions of existing vehicles will also continue to be restricted unless the Clean Air Act (CAA) is amended or if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) makes changes to its enforcement of the CAA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Water Rights Related to Oil Shale Development in the Upper Colorado River Basin

Water Rights Related to Oil Shale Development in the Upper Colorado River Basin

Date: November 18, 2008
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Description: Concerns over fluctuating oil prices and declining petroleum production worldwide have revived interest in oil shale as a potential resource. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58) identified oil shale as a strategically important domestic resource and directed the Department of the Interior to promote commercial development. Oil shale development would require significant amounts of water, however, and water supply in the Colorado River Basin, where several oil shale reserves are located, is limited. This report will provide a brief overview of water rights in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, including changes that may be made to currently held water rights and the possibility for abandonment of unused water rights.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The World Bank's Clean Technology Fund (CTF)

The World Bank's Clean Technology Fund (CTF)

Date: November 24, 2008
Creator: Weiss, Martin A. & Logan, Jeffrey
Description: The United States Treasury has led efforts to create a $10 billion Clean Technology Fund (CTF), located at the World Bank, to help fund deployment of clean technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing economies. The Bush administration has asked Congress to authorize and appropriate U.S. funding of $2 billion over three years (FY2009 to FY2011). While many Members of Congress have expressed support for the CTF, others have raised concerns, primarily with respect to whether the CTF should finance carbon-based energy projects. To date, Congress has not passed legislation authorizing or appropriating U.S. contributions to the Fund.
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
Biofuels Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs

Biofuels Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs

Date: March 18, 2008
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: This report outlines federal programs that provide direct or indirect incentives for biofuels. For each program described, the report provides details including administering agency, authorizing statute(s), annual funding, and expiration date.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Biofuels Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs

Biofuels Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs

Date: July 29, 2008
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: This report outlines federal programs that provide direct or indirect incentives for biofuels. For each program described, the report provides details including administering agency, authorizing statute(s), annual funding, and expiration date.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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