This report provides an overview of the history of science and technology (S&T) advice to the President and discusses selected issues and options for Congress regarding the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director, OSTP management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).
An "other transaction" (OT) is a special vehicle used by federal agencies for obtaining or advancing research and development (R&D) or prototypes. Generally, the reason for creating OT authority is that the government needs to obtain leading-edge R&D (and prototypes) from commercial sources, but some companies (and other entities) are unwilling or unable to comply with the government's procurement regulations. Evaluating OTs and the use of OT authority is a challenging undertaking. This report describes the issue of OT authority as it relates to Congressional policymaking and regulatory actions.
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.