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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2008
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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
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
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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.
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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.
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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).
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