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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
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/
The 2010 Oil Spill: MMS/BOEMRE and NEPA
This report reviews the environmental procedures required following the explosion of an oil well on a tract leased by BP from the federal government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491563/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491324/
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/
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions
This report describes provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (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/metadc491318/
Ocean Acidification
This report discusses the increasing concern, within the scientific community, that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could detrimentally alter marine ecosystems. The report discusses how ocean acidification happens, its possible outcomes, as well as natural and human responses that could possibly limit or reduce the rate of the process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462621/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463454/
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/
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/
Ocean Acidification
This report discusses the increasing concern, within the scientific community, that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could detrimentally alter marine ecosystems. The report discusses how ocean acidification happens, its possible outcomes, as well as natural and human responses that could possibly limit or reduce the rate of the process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462758/
Ocean Acidification
This report discusses the increasing concern, within the scientific community, that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could detrimentally alter marine ecosystems. The report discusses how ocean acidification happens, its possible outcomes, as well as natural and human responses that could possibly limit or reduce the rate of the process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463268/
Forest Fire/Wildfire Protection
This report provides historical background on wildfires, and describes concerns about the wildland-urban interface and about forest and rangeland health. The report discusses fuel management, fire control, and fire effects. The report then examines federal, state, and landowner roles and responsibilities in protecting lands and resources from wildfires, and concludes by discussing current issues for federal wildfire management. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461971/
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/
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/
Heritage Areas: Background, Proposals, and Current Issues
This report focuses on heritage areas designated by Congress and related issues and legislation. Over more than two decades, Congress has established 40 National Heritage Areas (NHAs) to commemorate, conserve, and promote areas that include important natural, scenic, historic, cultural, and recreational resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94040/
The Specialty Metal Provision and the Berry Amendment: Issues for Congress
This report examines the specialty metal provision which was originally part of the Berry Amendment; the potential oversight issues for Congress, and options that Congress may wish to consider. The debate over the specialty metal provision may also renew interest in the debate over the viability of other domestic source restrictions. There is congressional interest in the specialty metal provision because: (1) the specialty metal restriction affects major defense contractors who produce components for commercial airplanes; (2) some prime defense contractors as well as subcontractors on the second, third, and fourth tiers have stated that they were unable to comply with the Berry Amendment specialty metal requirement; (3) DOD has authorized the use of waivers to purchase non-compliant items (non-compliant specialty metal are metal that do not meet the 100% domestic source requirement of the Berry Amendment); and (4) the long-term impact of the specialty metal provision on the costs of defense equipment and programs, particularly on the requirement that weapon system components be certified as made in the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462864/
Federal Lands Managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service (FS): Issues for the 110th Congress
The report starts out with a brief overview and analysis of Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Other issues discussed briefly include roadless areas in the National Forest System, national forest planning, national forest county payments, BLM land sales, and grazing management. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94082/
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/
The Specialty Metal Provision and the Berry Amendment: Issues for Congress
This report examines the specialty metal provision which was originally part of the Berry Amendment; the potential oversight issues for Congress, and options that Congress may wish to consider. The debate over the specialty metal provision may also renew interest in the debate over the viability of other domestic source restrictions. There is congressional interest in the specialty metal provision because: (1) the specialty metal restriction affects major defense contractors who produce components for commercial airplanes; (2) some prime defense contractors as well as subcontractors on the second, third, and fourth tiers have stated that they were unable to comply with the Berry Amendment specialty metal requirement; (3) the Department of Defense (DOD) has authorized the use of waivers to purchase non-compliant items (non-compliant specialty metal are metal that do not meet the 100% domestic source requirement of the Berry Amendment); and (4) the long-term impact of the specialty metal provision on the costs of defense equipment and programs, particularly on the requirement that weapon system components be certified as made in the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463034/
Issues Affecting Tidal, Wave, and In-Stream Generation Projects
This report discusses policy guidance on energy sources that generates electricity from ocean waves, tides, and river currents. The report provides background information and legislation regarding these energy sources and technologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96764/
Conservation Reserve Program: Status and Current Issues
This report discusses the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) enacted in 1985, which provides payments to farmers to take highly erodible or environmentally-sensitive cropland out of production for ten years or more to conserve soil and water resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98116/
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/
The Endangered Species Act and "Sound Science"
This report provides a context for evaluating legislative proposals through examples of how science has been used in selected cases, a discussion of the nature and role of science in general, and its role in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) process in particular, together with general and agency information quality requirements and policies, and a review of how the courts have viewed agency use of science. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9938/
Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues
Since the first genetically engineered (GE) crops (also called GM [genetically modified] crops, or GMOs, genetically modified organisms) became commercially available in the mid-1990s, U.S. soybean, cotton, and corn farmers have rapidly adopted them. As adoption has spread, there have been policy debates over the costs and benefits of GE products. Issues include the impacts of GE crops on the environment and food safety, and whether GE foods should be specially labeled. Congress generally has been supportive of GE agricultural products, although some Members have expressed wariness about their adoption and regulation. The 109th Congress will likely continue to follow trade developments, particularly the U.S.-EU dispute, as well as U.S. regulatory mechanisms for approving biotech foods. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9392/
Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): Army Corps of Engineers Authorization Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9451/
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/
Mercury Emissions from Electric Power Plants: States are Setting Stricter Limits
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9476/
Land and Water Conservation Fund: Overview, Funding History, and Current Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9469/
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): Controversies in the 109th Congress
This report discusses the ongoing debate about whether or not to approve energy development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Current law forbids energy leasing in the Refuge. This report addresses several legislative options on the issue, as well as policymakers' arguments for and against development, especially in the wake of increasing terrorism since 2000-2001. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9459/
Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been seeking congressional approval for a $1.1 billion multi-year program to both construct five projects that would help to restore specified sites in the coastal wetland ecosystem in Louisiana, and to continue planning several other related projects. The state of Louisiana and several federal agencies have participated in the development of this program. This report introduces this program and restoration options that are being discussed in the wake of the hurricanes. It also discusses whether this program, if completed, might have muted the impacts of these hurricanes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9020/
Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): Army Corps of Engineers Authorization Issues in the 109th Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10003/
Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): Army Corps of Engineers Authorization Issues in the 109th Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9979/
Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been seeking congressional approval for a $1.1 billion multi-year program to both construct five projects that would help to restore specified sites in the coastal wetland ecosystem in Louisiana, and to continue planning several other related projects. The state of Louisiana and several federal agencies have participated in the development of this program. This report introduces this program and restoration options that are being discussed in the wake of the hurricanes. It also discusses whether this program, if completed, might have muted the impacts of these hurricanes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8785/
The Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Biological Resources
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8477/
The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos and Carabell
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9991/
The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos and Carabell
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9967/
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/metacrs8379/
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lands and National Forests
The 109th Congress is considering issues related to the public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the national forests managed by the Forest Service (FS). The Administration is addressing issues through budgetary, regulatory, and other actions. Several key issues of congressional and administrative interest are covered here. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8548/
Forest Fire/Wildfire Protection
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8266/
South Florida Ecosystem Restoration and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10133/
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/
Forestry in the Farm Bill
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7974/
Green Payments in U.S. and European Union Agricultural Policy
This report compares current United States and European Union (EU) efforts in the area of green payments. Green payments refer to "payments made to agricultural producers as compensation for environmental benefits that accrue at levels beyond what producers might otherwise achieve under existing market and regulatory conditions" (summary). The report gives an overview of policies, programs, financing, and various other aspects of comparison related to the topic. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9126/
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8744/
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/metacrs7960/
Funding Plant and Animal Health Emergencies: Transfers from the Commodity Credit Corporation
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9122/
The Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Biological Resources
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7672/
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7558/