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Congress and the Courts: Current Policy Issues

Description: The purposes of this report are to examine the Congress-court connection along several discrete, but overlapping, dimensions. First, the constitutional authority of Congress and the judiciary is summarized briefly. Second, the report highlights the court’s role as legislative-executive “umpire” and federal-state “referee” in our constitutional system. Third, the report discusses the court’s part in statutory interpretation as well as the diverse ways Congress may “check and balance” the judiciary. Fourth, the paper reviews several current controversies associated with the judicial nominations process. Fifth, the state of play with respect to the so-called “nuclear” or “constitutional” option for ending judicial filibusters is discussed along with the compromise that so far has averted use of this procedural maneuver in the Senate. Finally, the report closes with several observations about the judicial nominations process.
Date: September 20, 2005
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Lawmaking: A Perspective On Secrecy and Transparency

Description: The objectives of this report are four-fold: first, to outline briefly the historical and inherent tension between secrecy and transparency in the congressional process; second, to review several common and recurring secrecy/transparency issues that emerged again with the 2011 formation of the Joint Select Deficit Reduction Committee; third, to identify various lawmaking stages typically imbued with closed door activities; and fourth, to close with several summary observations.
Date: November 30, 2011
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pipeline Safety and Security: Federal Programs

Description: This report discusses congressional interest in securing the nation's pipelines. Nearly half a million miles of oil and natural gas transmission pipeline crisscross the United States. While an efficient and fundamentally safe means of transport, many pipelines carry hazardous materials with the potential to cause public injury and environmental damage.
Date: February 17, 2009
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pipeline Safety and Security: Federal Programs

Description: This report discusses congressional interest in securing the nation's pipelines. Nearly half a million miles of oil and natural gas transmission pipeline crisscross the United States. While an efficient and fundamentally safe means of transport, many pipelines carry hazardous materials with the potential to cause public injury and environmental damage.
Date: October 6, 2008
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pipeline Safety and Security: Federal Programs

Description: This report discusses congressional interest in securing the nation's pipelines. Nearly half a million miles of oil and natural gas transmission pipeline crisscross the United States. While an efficient and fundamentally safe means of transport, many pipelines carry hazardous materials with the potential to cause public injury and environmental damage.
Date: February 18, 2010
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pipeline Safety and Security: Federal Programs

Description: Congress passed the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-468) to improve pipeline safety and security practices. The Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS), within the Department of Transportation (DOT), is the lead federal regulator of pipeline safety. The OPS uses a variety of strategies to promote compliance with its safety regulations, including inspections, investigation of safety incidents, and maintaining a dialogue with pipeline operators.
Date: February 17, 2009
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Maritime Security: Potential Terrorist Attacks and Protection Priorities

Description: This report outlines the key dimensions of maritime terrorism and how these dimensions may characterize specific attacks in the global maritime domain. The report illustrates credible maritime attack scenarios based on actual past attacks or potential attacks developed for maritime security exercises or other U.S. counter terrorism activities. It discusses the challenge to maritime security planners of facing a virtually unlimited number of potential attack scenarios and how certain federal programs address this challenge. It also reviews various perspectives on the overall likelihood of maritime terror attacks on the United States. Finally the report discusses implications for homeland security policy.
Date: May 14, 2008
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W. & Frittelli, John
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electricity Restructuring: Comparison of S.1401, H.R. 655, H.R. 1230, S. 722, H.R. 1960, and S. 2287

Description: Once considered the nation's most regulated industry, the electric utility industry is evolving into a more competitive environment. At the current time, the focus of this development is the generating sector, where the advent of new generating technologies, such as gas-fired combined cycle, has lowered both entry barriers to competitors of traditional utilities and lowered the marginal costs of those competitors below those of some traditional utilities. This technological advance has been combined with legislative initiatives, such as the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPACT), to encourage the introduction of competitive forces into the electric generating sector. The questions now are whether further legislative action is desirable to encourage competition in the electric utility sector and how the transition between a comprehensive regulatory regime to a more competitive electric utility sector can be made with the least amount of economic and service disruption.
Date: July 16, 1998
Creator: Parker, Larry
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Implementing Acid Rain Legislation

Description: This report discusses the broad-ranging provisions in Title IV of The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (P.L. 101-549), which raise myriad implementation issues, particularly with respect to the system of tradable "allowances."
Date: April 5, 1995
Creator: Parker, Larry
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Implementing Acid Rain Legislation

Description: This report discusses the broad-ranging provisions in Title IV of The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (P.L. 101-549), which raise myriad implementation issues, particularly with respect to the system of tradable "allowances."
Date: November 15, 1994
Creator: Parker, Larry
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electricity Restructuring: Comparison of Comprehensive Bills

Description: Once considered the nation's most regulated industry, the electric utility industry is evolving into a more competitive environment. Currently, the focus of this development is the generating sector, where the advent of new generating technologies has lowered both entry barriers to competitors of traditional utilities and the marginal costs of those competitors below those of some traditional utilities. This technological advance has combined with legislative initiatives, such as the Energy Policy Act (EPACT), to encourage the introduction of competitive forces into the electric generating sector.
Date: July 24, 2000
Creator: Parker, Larry & Abel, Amy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Global Climate Change: Three Policy Perspectives

Description: This paper discusses the three different perspectives used to consider issues related to the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 1997 Kyoto Agreement. The perspectives are: the technological lens (that environmental problems are the result of misused or inappropriate technologies that can be improved); the economic lens (that environmental problems are the result of inappropriate pricing that can be fixed by representing environmental measures in market costs); and the ecological lens (that environmental problems are the result of disregard for the ecosystem and can be improved with education and "green" initiatives). The report discusses each approach and how it relates to policy creation.
Date: February 7, 2008
Creator: Parker, Larry & Blodgett, John
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality: EPA's Ozone Transport Rule, OTAG, and Section 216 Petitions - A Hazy Situation?

Description: The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments provided the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the states with new tool to address the problem of interstate transport of air pollutants. This report discusses the actions undertaken as a direct result of this act, additional pollution reduction enforcement measures pursued by the EPA, and actions undertaken by states to reduce offending emissions not in compliance with these measures.
Date: June 15, 1999
Creator: Parker, Larry & Blodgett, John E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality: EPA's Proposed Ozone Transport Rule, OTAG, and Section 216 Petitions - A Hazy Situation?

Description: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently engaged in a series of regulatory actions to address the transport of ozone pollution in the eastern United States. This report reviews this situation with respect to an EPA-proposed Ozone Transport Rule and other activities.
Date: May 14, 1998
Creator: Parker, Larry & Blodgett, John E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality: Multi-Pollutant Legislation

Description: One approach being proposed to more cost-effectively achieve national air quality goals is a "multi-pollutant" strategy -- a framework based on a consistent set of emissions caps, implemented through emissions trading. This report discusses this strategy and related legislation.
Date: August 1, 2002
Creator: Parker, Larry & Blodgett, John E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality: Multi-Pollutant Legislation

Description: One approach being proposed to more cost-effectively achieve national air quality goals is a "multi-pollutant" strategy -- a framework based on a consistent set of emissions caps, implemented through emissions trading. This report discusses this strategy and related legislation.
Date: October 22, 2002
Creator: Parker, Larry & Blodgett, John E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Greenhouse Gas Reduction: Cap-and-Trade Bills in the 110th Congress

Description: This report discusses the Cap-and-Trade Bills in the 110th Congress which are meant to advance market-based greenhouse gas reduction programs, similar to the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. The report presents a side-by-side comparison of the major provision in each of the bills and includes a glossary of common terms.
Date: January 31, 2008
Creator: Parker, Larry & Yacobucci, Brent D.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department