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Electricity Restructuring Background: The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 and the Energy Policy Act of 1992

Description: The Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPACT) increased competition in the electric generating sector by creating new entities that can generate and sell electricity at wholesale without being regulated as utilities under PUHCA. PURPA began to shift more regulatory responsibilities to the federal government, and EPACT continued that shift away from the states by creating new options for utilities and regulators to meet electricity demand.
Date: May 4, 1998
Creator: Abel, Amy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legislative Prayer and School Prayer: The Constitutional Difference

Description: The Supreme Court's decisions holding government-sponsored prayer in the public schools to violate the First Amendment's establishment clause but prayer in legislative assemblies to be constitutional are sometimes lifted up as contradictory. This report summarizes the relevant decisions and identifies the distinctions the Court has drawn between the two situations.
Date: October 26, 1994
Creator: Ackerman, David A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Education Vouchers: The Constitutional Standards

Description: The Court’s decisions permit a limited degree of public aid to be provided directly and a broader range of assistance indirectly. This report sketches the constitutional standards that apply to public aid to sectarian schools and especially to programs of indirect assistance such as education vouchers. It also summarizes recent significant state court decisions involving vouchers.
Date: June 11, 1998
Creator: Ackerman, David M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

English as the Official Language of the United States: An Overview

Description: This report provides background on contemporary efforts to declare English the official language, a review of selected issues raised by official English proposals in Congress, and a summary of arguments that have been advanced in favor of and in opposition to such proposals.
Date: April 1, 1997
Creator: Aleman, Steven R.; Bruno, Andorra & Dale, Charles V.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Statutory Modifications of the Application of NEPA

Description: From time to time, Congress has considered the operation of the National Environmental Policy Act. While Congress has amended the statute itself only twice since its enactment, Congress has often enacted provisions that modify the application of the Act or specify the extent of the documents that need be prepared in particular instances or contexts. This report collects and lists examples of such provisions.
Date: May 1, 1998
Creator: Baldwin, Pamela
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Endangered Species Act Amendments: An Analysis of S. 1180 and H.R. 2351

Description: Because of wide-spread interest in possible amendments to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), CRS has received numerous requests for an analysis and critique of S.1180 and H.R. 2351. This report analyzes those bills. HR. 2351 was introduced on July 31, 1997 and S. 1180 on September 16, 1997. Each bill is discussed under various topic headings. The Senate bill will be described first, since it has been reported.
Date: March 2, 1998
Creator: Baldwin, Pamela & Corn, M. Lynne
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Abandoned Mine Land Fund: Grants Distribution and Issues

Description: The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA, P.L. 95-87), enacted in 1977, established reclamation standards for all coal surface mining operations, and for the surface effects of underground mining. It also established the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program to promote the reclamation of sites mined and abandoned prior to the enactment of SMCRA. To finance reclamation of abandoned mine sites, the legislation established fees on coal production. These collections are divided into federal and state shares; subject to annual appropriation, AML funds are distributed annually to states with approved reclamation programs. This report describes the distribution of these funds and the various issues that arise from said distribution.
Date: March 26, 1997
Creator: Bamberger, Robert L.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Disaster Mitigation Bills in the 106th Congress: H.R. 707, S. 1691 Compared

Description: The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act authorizes the President to declare that an emergency or major disaster exists that overwhelms state and local resources. Legislation before the 106th Congress (H.R. 707 and S. 1691) would, among other matters, amend the Act to: (1) fund hazard mitigation projects designed to reduce future disaster losses; (2) add conditions to assistance; and (3) consolidate provisions governing the distribution of aid to disaster victims. This report compares provisions of the two bills, and will be updated as legislative action occurs.
Date: October 25, 1999
Creator: Bea, Keith
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality and Transportation Enhancement Provisions in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991

Description: This report describes how the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ) and enhancement programs function, examines the policy issues surrounding them, and summarizes relevant provisions in major legislation to reauthorize ISTEA in the 105th Congress.
Date: June 10, 1998
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality and Transportation Enhancement Provisions in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991

Description: Federal funding to assist states in addressing the environmental impacts of surface transportation is a major issue for the second session of the 105th Congress. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 (P.L. 102-240) authorized a total of $155 billion for transportation projects from FY1992 to FY1997. This report describes how the Congrestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ) and enhancement programs function, examines the policy issues surrounding them, and summarizes relevant provisions in major legislation to reauthorize ISTEA in the 105th Congress.
Date: June 10, 1998
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Cleanup and Environmental Programs: Authorization and Appropriations for FY2000

Description: Although Congress authorizes most federal programs for multiple years, it annually authorizes programs for national defense as well as appropriating funding for them each fiscal year. Of the activities traditionally authorized and funded, the Department of Defense (DOD) administers the following six environmental programs: environmental restoration, compliance, cleanup at base closure sites, pollution prevention, environmental technology, and natural resource conservation.
Date: December 13, 1999
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Protection: Defense-Related Programs

Description: The Department of Defense (DOD) operates six environmental programs that address cleanup of past contamination at military facilities, compliance with environmental laws and regulations that apply to current activities, cleanup at military bases being closed, pollution prevention, natural resource conservation, and environmental technology. In addition, the Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for managing defense nuclear waste generated from the past production of atomic materials used to construct nuclear weapons and for remediating contaminated sites. For FY1999, the Administration has requested a total of $10. 14 billion for DOD and DOE's defense-related environmental activities, which represents about 3.7% of the total request of $271.6 billion for national defense and is roughly 1.6% below the FY1998 funding level of $l0.30 billion.
Date: July 28, 1998
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Marketing and Regulatory Provisions of the 1996 Farm Bill

Description: The Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-127), signed into law on April 4, for the first time grants the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) broad-based authority to establish national generic promotion ("check-off") programs for virtually any agricultural commodity. Formerly, individual programs first had to be authorized expressly by Congress. The new law also explicitly authorizes the establishment of new check-off programs for rapeseed and canola, kiwifruit, and popcorn. Other provisions require USDA to establish a new meat and poultry inspection advisory committee; deal with the collection of user fees for the inspection of agricultural imports; and authorize new guidelines to protect horses being transported to slaughter facilities, among other things.
Date: April 30, 1996
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department