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 Resource Type: Report
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93835/
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. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93832/
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. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93831/
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. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93834/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report gives an overview of the situation in the Arctic region. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93836/
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. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93833/
Rio+20: The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, June 2012
This report discusses the purpose of the June 2012 United Nations (U.N.) Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or “Rio+20”) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It looks at issues that could be addressed during the conference as well as how this conference may differ from the last U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio in 1992. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93939/
Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain
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. The concentration of production of rare earth elements (REEs) outside the United States raises the important issue of supply vulnerability, since they are used for new energy technologies and national security applications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87157/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report gives an overview of the situation in the Arctic region. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87154/
Federal Land Ownership: Overview and Data
Numerous issues affecting federal land management are before Congress. They include the extent of federal ownership, and whether to decrease, maintain, or increase the amount of federal holdings; the condition of currently owned federal infrastructure and lands, and the priority of their maintenance versus new acquisitions; the optimal balance between land use and protection, and whether federal lands should be managed primarily to produce national or local benefits; and border control on federal lands along the southwest border. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87210/
Wildfire Protection in the Wildland-Urban Interface
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87375/
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): A Primer for the 112th Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86658/
Forest Fire/Wildfire Protection
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86639/
China's Rare Earth Industry and Export Regime: Economic and Trade Implications for the United States
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85418/
The Lacey Act: Protecting the Environment by Restricting Trade
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85395/
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. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83941/
Wildfire Damages to Homes and Resources: Understanding Causes and Reducing Losses
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84087/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83942/
Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31365/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31354/
The Helium-3 Shortage: Supply, Demand, and Options for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31373/
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/
The Specialty Metal Provision and the Berry Amendment: Issues for Congress
In order to protect the U.S. industrial base during periods of adversity and war, Congress passed a set of domestic source restrictions which became known as the Berry Amendment. Specialty metal represented one of fourteen items previously covered under the Berry Amendment. Congress took action in the FY2007 National Defense Authorization Act to move the specialty metal provision from the Berry Amendmgent into a separate section of Title 10. This report examines the specialty metal provision, potential oversight issues for Congress, and options that Congress may choose to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29685/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29585/
The Millennium Development Goals: The September 2010 U.N. High-level Meeting
This report discusses overarching trends in Millennium Development Goals (MDG) progress and lessons learned from previous and ongoing efforts to achieve them. The MDGs are a group of measurable development targets agreed to by 189 U.N. member states - including the United States - as part of the 2000 Millennium Declaration. The MDGs cover a number of issues, such as eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, combating HIV/AIDS, and promoting gender equality and women's empowerment. This report examines U.S. policy toward the MDGs and how, if at all, the Goals fit into U.S. development and foreign assistance policy. It also examines different schools of thought regarding the effectiveness of the Goals, their role in international development, and their long-term sustainability. This report addresses the MDGs as a whole; it does not assess or analyze issues pertaining to the individual Goals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29607/
Biological Diversity Treaty: Fact Sheet
As human activity continues to change and modify natural areas, widespread extinctions of plants, animals, and other types of species result. In 1992, negotiations conducted under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) were completed on a comprehensive global treaty to protect biological diversity (biodiversity). In June 1993, President Clinton signed the treaty and sent it to the Senate for advice and consent. It is not pending in the Senate. The treaty entered into force on December 29, 1993. As of May 15, 1995, 118 nations had ratified the treaty. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26102/
Market-Based Environmental Management: Issues in Implementation
Increasingly, efforts to protect integral features of the natural environment that are essential to human well being face a double challenge. First, the magnitude of some conventional and emerging threats to environmental quality is growing, despite solid progress in controlling some causes. This is particularly the concern on a global scale in terms of atmospheric changes and loss of biological diversity. Second, easily-implemented uniform control methods using feasible technologies or other direct regulatory approaches are already in place for many pollution and resource management problems in the United States. Additional progress with so-called command and control policies can be expensive and disruptive, and thus counter productive to overall economic well being. This type of dilemma is common where environmental deterioration results from diffuse and complex causes inherent in technically-advanced high-consumption industrial societies such as the U.S. Solutions to these types of environmental problems are complicated by the diffuse benefits which obscures the net gains of additional controls that have concentrated and highly visible costs. Given this double bind, many policy analysts and academics have for years advocated more cost-effective and flexible approaches relying on market forces to further some environmental management objectives. Although market-based theory and practical environmental policy are still far apart, the incremental approach to environmental policymaking since the late seventies has resulted in some market-type innovations within traditional regulatory frameworks at all levels of government. The most prominent examples are the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) air emissions trading program and the recently enacted sulfur dioxide allowance trading program under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26038/
Estimates of Carbon Mitigation Potential from Agricultural and Forestry Activities
Numerous theoretical and empirical studies estimate the greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential of farm and forestry activities, and suggest that the potential for carbon uptake in agricultural soils and forest lands is much greater than current rates. Following a discussion of the estimated current emissions and carbon sequestration by the agricultural and forestry sectors, this report presents a brief overview of the available estimates from USDA and EPA carbon mitigation studies, and then discusses some of the limitations of the available data and modeling results. This report is organized into four parts, including a brief overview of the agriculture and forestry sectors within the broader climate change debate, as well as various data and information on potential for carbon storage and mitigation from farming and forestry activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26136/
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention) was agreed to in 1982, but the United States never became a signatory nation. In the 111th Congress, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs on January 13, 2009, acknowledged that U.S. accession to the LOS Convention would be an Obama Administration priority. This report describes provisions of the LOS Convention relating to living marine resources and discusses how these provisions comport with current U.S. marine policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26214/
Brief Summaries of Federal Animal Protection Statutes
This report contains summaries of federal animal protection statutes, listed alphabetically. It does not include treaties, although it does include statutes enacted to implement treaties. It includes statutes concerning animals that are not entirely, or not at all, animal protection statutes. For example, it includes a statute authorizing the eradication of predators, because one of the statute's purposes is to protect domestic and "game" animals; and it includes statutes to conserve fish, although their ultimate purpose may not be for the fishes' benefit. It also includes statutes that allow the disabled to use service animals, and even includes statutes aimed at acts of animal rights advocates (the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992, and the Recreational Hunting Safety and Preservation Act of 1994). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26053/
The Endangered Species Act and Private Property
If the 103rd Congress embarks upon an effort to reauthorize the Endangered Species Act (ESA), it will run into an old acquaintance: the property rights issue. As now written, the ESA has at least the potential to curtail property rights (whatever its actual impact as implemented may be). This report explores the legal repercussions of those impacts, especially whether they constitute takings of property under the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26028/
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/
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/
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/
Energy and Mineral Issues in the FY2006 Budget Reconciliation Bill
Several resource issues that are designed to generate revenue for the federal Treasury have been proposed for the FY2006 budget reconciliation bill. The most controversial of these provisions recommended by the House Resources Committee and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee would open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil and gas development. The House panel also approved a provision that would allow coastal states to “opt out” of the current offshore oil and gas development moratoria, increase fees for hardrock mining and patents, dispose of certain federal lands, and begin an oil shale and tar sands leasing program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10130/
The Weatherization Assistance Program: A Fact Sheet
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Ecosystem Management Tools and Techniques: Proceedings of a CRS Workshop
The House Subcommittee on Technology, Environment, and Aviation of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (103rd Congress) requested that Congressional Research Service (CRS) hold a workshop on the tools and techniques of ecosystem management. The purposes of this workshop were to demonstrate tools and techniques used in scientific research on ecosystems and to address technological aspects of developing and administering a national policy for ecosystem management. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10004/
The Endangered Species Act (ESA), Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), and Department of Defense (DOD) Readiness Activities: Background and Current Law
This report provides a brief overview of how the Endangered Species Act (ESA)1 and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA)2 and their relevant regulations may apply to military training and readiness activities of the Department of Defense (DOD). Military activities may “take” protected creatures directly (e.g,. killing with ordnance during rifle, gunnery or assault drills), or might destroy habitat (e.g., artillery or bombing practices), even if these results are not the purpose of the activities. The applicability of the MBTA and ESA to military readiness activities has been controversial recently and legislation has been enacted in both the 107th and 108th Congresses on these topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10071/
Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 109th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
The 109th Congress is considering proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA; P.L. 93-205, 16 U.S.C. §§1531-1543). Major issues in recent years have included changing the role of science in decision-making, modifying critical habitat (CH) procedures, incorporating further protection and incentives for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others. In addition, many have advocated enacting as law some ESA regulations promulgated during the Clinton Administration. This report identifies other bills that have been introduced in the 109th Congress to address specific concerns related to how the ESA is implemented and how endangered species are managed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10138/
Water Quality: Implementing the Clean Water Act
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10136/
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 109th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
The 109th Congress is considering proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA; P.L. 93-205, 16 U.S.C. §§1531-1543). Major issues in recent years have included changing the role of science in decision-making, modifying critical habitat (CH) procedures, incorporating further protection and incentives for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others. In addition, many have advocated enacting as law some ESA regulations promulgated during the Clinton Administration. This report identifies other bills that have been introduced in the 109th Congress to address specific concerns related to how the ESA is implemented and how endangered species are managed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10137/
South Florida Ecosystem Restoration and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
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South Florida Ecosystem Restoration and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
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Mining on Federal Lands
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The Role of Designation of Critical Habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
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Designation of Critical Habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
The agencies that implement the Endangered Species Act (ESA) regard the designation of critical habitat (CH) as providing only very limited benefits beyond those achieved through the listing of species and the avoidance of jeopardy to them. Several courts have now held that the relevant regulation and interpretation that result in this conclusion are erroneous and do not carry out the intent of Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10094/