Congressional Research Service Reports - 155 Matching Results

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Conservation and the 2007 Farm Bill
Conservation is playing a prominent role in the development of a farm bill by the 110th Congress. This report introduces some of the issues that are influencing the development of a conservation title. It then reviews the contents of the House-passed bill, H.R. 2419.
Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
This report covers concerns that Congress has expressed over U.S. acquisition of rare earth elements, particularly those used in various components of defense weapon systems. Specific concerns are the acquisition of these elements, especially from foreign sources such as China; how dependence of foreign sources affects national security; and methods for decreasing the relationship between reliance on foreign sources and national security.
Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
This report covers concerns that Congress has expresses over U.S. acquisition of rare earth elements, particularly those used in various components of defense weapon systems. Specific concerns are the acquisition of these elements, especially from foreign sources such as China; how dependence of foreign sources affects national security; and methods for decreasing the relationship between reliance on foreign sources and national security.
Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
This report covers concerns that Congress has expressed over U.S. acquisition of rare earth elements, particularly those used in various components of defense weapon systems. Specific concerns are the acquisition of these elements, especially from foreign sources such as China; how dependence of foreign sources affects national security; and methods for decreasing the relationship between reliance on foreign sources and national security.
Conflict Minerals and Resource Extraction: Dodd-Frank, SEC Regulations, and Legal Challenges
This report discusses the two sections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) that require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) to issue regulations to make public the involvement of U.S. companies in conflict minerals and in resource extraction payments.
Conflict Minerals and Resource Extraction: Dodd-Frank, SEC Regulations, and Legal Challenges
This report discusses the two sections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) that require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) to issue regulations to make public the involvement of U.S. companies in conflict minerals and in resource extraction payments.
Endangered Species: Difficult Choices
This report discusses various measures being considered by Congress that propose to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). Major issues in recent years have focused on whether to incorporate further protection for property owners and reduce regulatory impacts, whether to increase the protection afforded listed species, or whether to modify various aspects of the ESA, such as the role of science in decision-making.
Endangered Species: Difficult Choices
This report discusses various measures being considered by Congress that propose to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). Major issues in recent years have focused on whether to incorporate further protection for property owners and reduce regulatory impacts, whether to increase the protection afforded listed species, or whether to modify various aspects of the ESA, such as the role of science in decision-making.
Overview and Issues for Implementation of the Federal Cloud Computing Initiative: Implications for Federal Information Technology Reform Management
This report explains what cloud computing is, including cloud deployment models and service models, discusses issues that should be considered when adopting cloud services, and presents the federal government's planning for IT reform. It also provides information on assessments that have been conducted on agency cloud adoption and discusses both the challenges and drivers of cloud adoption. Finally, the report provides possible mechanisms for Congress to monitor agencies as they implement cloud computing.
Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines: Process and Timing of FERC Permit Application Review
This report provides an overview of the federal certification process for interstate natural gas pipelines. It discusses the length of the review for recent interstate gas pipeline applications--a topic of specific interest to Congress and industry. In this context, the report discusses the key provisions in H.R. 161 and their implications for gas pipeline certificate approval.
Conflict Minerals and Resource Extraction: Dodd-Frank, SEC Regulations, and Legal Challenges
This report discusses the two sections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) that require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) to issue regulations to make public the involvement of U.S. companies in conflict minerals and in resource extraction payments.
Softwood Lumber Imports From Canada: Current Issues
This report examines the status and current issues surrounding Canadian softwood lumber imports since 2006. After providing background information on what constitutes softwood lumber, the stakeholders in the dispute, and the history of the dispute, the report introduces the 2006 SLA and analyzes its impacts on the U.S. lumber industry as well as on the trade relationship between the United States and Canada. Finally, the report discusses the potential issues Congress may consider when the agreement expires in 2015.
Clearcutting in the National Forests: Background and Overview
This report provides background and an overview on clearcutting use in the National Forests and effects.
Stewardship Contracting for the National Forests
This report discusses the advantages and limitations of proposed approaches to stewardship contracting to reduce threats to national forests exacerbated by unnaturally high amounts of biomass.
Soil and Water Conservation: An Overview
This report discusses soil and water conservation topics, which are prominent in discussions of policy options for the next farm bill. Two omnibus conservation proposals have been introduced (H.R. 1551 and H.R. 1600), and many interest groups continue to offer policy recommendations ranging from general concepts to specific legislative language.
Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
This report introduces a $1.1 billion programthat would help restore specified sites in the coastal wetland ecosystem in Louisiana and more extensive restoration options that are being discussed in the wake of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. It also discusses whether this program, if completed, might have muted the impacts of the hurricanes.
Forest Service Accountability in Administering Its Trust Funds
The USDA Forest Service has numerous permanently appropriated trust funds and special funds that provide substantial funding independent of the annual appropriations process. Critics have alleged abuse of the funds and have sought greater congressional oversight, and the General Accounting Office has testified on the agency’s management of some of these accounts. While the Administration has offered few responses to the criticisms of these funds, it has, in its FY2001 budget request, proposed creating two new trust funds and combining several existing funds into a new fund with expanded purposes. This report provides an overview of the permanently appropriated Forest Service accounts and concerns over their use and proposed alternative structures that could provide greater public and congressional oversight and control over permanently appropriated funds.
Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines: Process and Timing of FERC Permit Application Review
This report provides an overview of the federal certification process for interstate natural gas pipelines. It discusses the length of the review for recent interstate gas pipeline applications--a topic of specific interest to Congress and industry. In this context, the report discusses the key provisions in H.R. 1900 and their implications for gas pipeline certificate approval.
The Specialty Metal Provision and the Berry Amendment: Issues for Congress
In order to protect the U.S. industrial base during periods of adversity and war, Congress passed a set of domestic source restrictions which became known as the Berry Amendment. Specialty metal represented one of fourteen items previously covered under the Berry Amendment. Congress took action in the FY2007 National Defense Authorization Act to move the specialty metal provision from the Berry Amendmgent into a separate section of Title 10. This report examines the specialty metal provision, potential oversight issues for Congress, and options that Congress may choose to consider.
Wildfires: CRS Experts
The following table provides access to names and contact information for CRS experts on policy concerns relating to wildfires. Policy areas identified include federal wildfire policy; long-term land use management; federal firefighting assistance; federal emergency management policy; federal preparedness system and response plan; hazard mitigation; armed forces and national guard assistance; supplemental disaster funding; and disaster insurance.
Softwood Lumber Imports from Canada: Issues and Events
This report provides a concise historical account of the dispute over softwood lumber imports from Canada, summarizes the subsidy and injury evidence, and discusses current issues and events.
Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
This report covers concerns that Congress has expressed over U.S. acquisition of rare earth elements, particularly those used in various components of defense weapon systems. Specific concerns are the acquisition of these elements, especially from foreign sources such as China; how dependence of foreign sources affects national security; and methods for decreasing the relationship between reliance on foreign sources and national security.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
This report discusses the various industrial uses for Hemp, a variety of Cannabis sativa and is of the same plant species as marijuana. The report compares Hemp with Marijuana and discusses global production, legal status, and recent legislative activity.
Congressional Efforts to Reduce Restrictions on Growing Industrial Hemp
This report briefly discusses U.S. agricultural policies regarding the industrial use of hemp.
Diamonds and Conflict: Background, Policy, and Legislation
This report discusses issues surrounding "conflict diamonds" -- i.e., diamonds that have been mined and sold to support armed conflict -- as well as resulting U.S. policy responses. Policy makers' attention has also increasingly focused on the possible role that diamonds may play in the financing of terrorist operations.
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): Status and Issues
This report discusses the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which provides payments to agricultural producers to take highly erodible and environmentally sensitive land out of production and install resource conserving practices for 10 or more years. CRP was first authorized in the Food Security Act of 1985 (P.L. 99-198, 1985 farm bill) and is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Farm Service Agency (FSA) with technical support from other USDA agencies.
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): Status and Issues
This report discusses the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which provides payments to agricultural producers to take highly erodible and environmentally sensitive land out of production and install resource conserving practices for 10 or more years. CRP was first authorized in the Food Security Act of 1985 (P.L. 99-198, 1985 farm bill) and is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) with technical support from other USDA agencies.
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.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lands and National Forests
This brief focuses on several issues affecting Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service (FS) lands that are of interest to the 109th Congress, and does not comprehensively cover issues primarily affecting other federal lands.
Renewable Energy Policy in the 2007 Farm Bill
This report provides a summary of major legislative proposals for change in the farm bill energy title (Title IX) and compares current law with energy provisions from the recently approved House 2007 farm bill.
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.
Renewable Energy Policy in the 2007 Farm Bill
This report discusses the renewable energy policy initiatives that have been included in almost every 2007 farm bill proposal in both the House and Senate.
Grazing Fees: An Overview and Current Issues
This report briefly discusses charging fees for grazing private livestock on federal lands, which is a long-standing but contentious practice. Generally, livestock producers who use federal lands want to keep fees low, while conservation groups and others believe fees should be raised to approximate "fair market value."
Grazing Fees: An Overview
This report briefly discusses charging fees for grazing private livestock on federal lands, which is a long-standing but contentious practice. Generally, livestock producers who use federal lands want to keep fees low, while conservation groups and others believe fees should be raised to approximate "fair market value."
Conservation and the 2007 Farm Bill
This report introduces some of the issues that are influencing the development of a conservation title. It then reviews the contents of the House-passed bill, H.R. 2419. Some alternative proposals that the House considered are summarized in an appendix. The House-passed bill includes some elements of the alternative proposals (usually in modified form). This report is limited to the conservation title. However, conservation topics in recent farm bills have been increasingly addressed in other titles, and that trend continues with the House-passed version, which contains conservation provisions in the energy, forestry, and research titles, and others as well.
Federal Lands Managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service (FS): Issues for the 110th Congress
This report discusses actions the 110th Congress is considering that affect the various uses and management of federal lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service. These actions include legislation, administrative or regulatory proposals, and litigation and judicial decisions. Issues areas include access to energy resources on federal lands, especially implementation of the Energy Policy Act of 2005; development of hardrock minerals; roadless area management and protection; management, protection, and disposal of wild horses and burros; wilderness designation and management; and wildfire management and protection. Many of these issues have been of interest to Congress and the nation for decades.
Heritage Areas: Background, Proposals, and Current Issues
Over the past 20 years, Congress has established 24 National Heritage Areas (NHAs) to commemorate, conserve, and promote important areas that include natural, scenic, historic, cultural, and recreational resources. This report focuses on heritage areas designated by Congress, and related issues and legislation.
Federal Lands Managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service (FS): Issues for the 110th Congress
The missions of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service (FS) are similar, and many issues, programs, and policies affect both agencies. This report focuses on several issues affecting both agencies’ lands that are likely to be of interest to the 110th Congress, including energy resources, hardrock mining, FS roadless areas, wild horses and burros, wilderness, wildfire protection, and others.
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions
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.
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.
Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
This report discusses the various industrial uses for hemp, a variety of Cannabis sativa that is of the same plant species as marijuana. It compares hemp with marijuana and discusses global production, legal status, and recent legislative activity.
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.
Wildfire Damages to Homes and Resources: Understanding Causes and Reducing Losses
This report focuses on options for protecting structures and for protecting wildlands and natural resources from wildfires. It begins with a brief overview of the nature of wildfires, followed by a discussion of protecting structures. Then, it discusses wildfire damages to wildlands and natural resources, fuel treatment options and their benefits and limitations, and public involvement in federal decisions.
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): Status and 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.
Analysis of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
This report outlines the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the current Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN) system, discusses the current market for various RINs, and outlines policy considerations to address RIN fraud going forward.
Analysis of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
Report that outlines the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the current Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN) system, discusses the current market for various RINs, and outlines policy considerations to address RIN fraud going forward.