Congressional Research Service Reports - 789 Matching Results

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Keeping America's Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress

Description: Nearly half a million miles of pipeline transporting natural gas, oil, and other hazardous liquids crisscross the United States. While an efficient and fundamentally safe means of transport, many pipelines carry materials with the potential to cause public injury and environmental damage. The nation's pipeline networks are also widespread and vulnerable to accidents and terrorist attack. As it oversees the federal pipeline safety program and the federal role in pipeline security, Congress may wish to assess how the various elements of U.S. pipeline safety and security fit together in the nation's overall strategy to protect transportation infrastructure. Pipeline safety and security necessarily involve many groups: federal agencies, oil and gas pipeline associations, large and small pipeline operators, and local communities. Reviewing how these groups work together to achieve common goals could be an oversight challenge for Congress.
Date: February 13, 2012
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran's Threat to the Strait of Hormuz

Description: Some officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran have recently renewed threats to close or exercise control over the Strait of Hormuz. This report explains Iranian threats to the Strait of Hormuz, and analyzes the implications of some scenarios for potential U.S. or international conflict with Iran, which include: outright closure of the Strait, harassment and/or infrastructure damage, and continued threat.
Date: January 23, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth; Nerurkar, Neelesh; O'Rourke, Ronald; Mason, Chuck R. & Ratner, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress

Description: Alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles are seen by proponents as integral to improving urban air quality, decreasing dependence on foreign oil, and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. However, major barriers—especially economics—currently prevent the widespread use of these fuels and technologies. The 112th Congress has debated alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles directly and as it has addressed other key topics. On June 16, 2011 the Senate approved S.Amdt. 476 which would have eliminated the excise tax credit for blending ethanol in gasoline before its December 31, 2011 expiration date. Although the underlying legislation failed a cloture vote in the Senate, the amendment was approved 73-27. The prospects for further action increasing or extending biofuels and alternative fuels tax incentives may be limited in light of that vote.
Date: January 19, 2012
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: On December 2, 2011, General Electric and Rolls-Royce announced that they were ending development of the F136 alternate engine for the F-35, ending what had been a contentious and long-running battle of funding versus research and development. This report discusses issues of having only one engine supplier for the F-35, as well as funding issues for the program.
Date: January 10, 2012
Creator: Gertler, Jeremiah
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Keeping America's Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress

Description: Nearly half a million miles of pipeline transporting natural gas, oil, and other hazardous liquids crisscross the United States. While an efficient and fundamentally safe means of transport, many pipelines carry materials with the potential to cause public injury and environmental damage. The nation's pipeline networks are also widespread and vulnerable to accidents and terrorist attack. As it oversees the federal pipeline safety program and the federal role in pipeline security, Congress may wish to assess how the various elements of U.S. pipeline safety and security fit together in the nation's overall strategy to protect transportation infrastructure. Pipeline safety and security necessarily involve many groups: federal agencies, oil and gas pipeline associations, large and small pipeline operators, and local communities. Reviewing how these groups work together to achieve common goals could be an oversight challenge for Congress.
Date: March 13, 2012
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years. This report looks at the cost of the Navy's 30-year shipbuilding plan in relation to FY2013.
Date: April 24, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Recreation on Federal Lands

Description: The growing and diverse nature of recreation on federal lands has increased the challenge of balancing recreation with other land uses, and balancing different types of recreation. Motorized recreation has been particularly controversial, with issues centering on access and environmental impacts. The 109th Congress may consider legislation and conduct oversight on issues involving recreation on federal lands, including traditional recreational pursuits and newer forms of motorized recreation. Other federal land recreation issues of possible interest include recreational uses within the National Wildlife Refuge System, recreation at federal water, recreation fees, and Grand Canyon Colorado River management.
Date: April 25, 2005
Creator: Calvert, Kori & Vincent, Carol Hardy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues For Congress

Description: This brief discusses the major issues for Congress which include whether to increase inland waterway funding in the future (and by what amount); the appropriate type of revenue stream (e.g., fuel taxes or lockage fees) for the user-required portion of these projects; division of the cost-share responsibilities between the federal government and commercial users (e.g., 50/50 or some other division); and whether to initiate process-based recommendations that some argue will improve the delivery and efficiency of Corps-led IWTF projects.
Date: July 14, 2011
Creator: Stern, Charles V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: The Coast Guard's proposed FY2013 budget includes $8 million in acquisition funding to initiate survey and design activities for a new polar icebreaker. The Coast Guard's Five Year Capital Investment Plan includes an additional $852 million in FY2014-FY2017 for acquiring the ship. The Coast Guard anticipates awarding a construction contract for the ship "within the next five years" and taking delivery on the ship "within a decade." The project to design and build a polar icebreaker is a new acquisition project initiated in the FY2013 budget.
Date: April 6, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline: Legal Issues

Description: This report reviews those legal issues. First, it suggests that legislation related to cross-border facility permitting is unlikely to raise significant constitutional questions, despite the fact that such permits have traditionally been handled by the executive branch alone pursuant to its constitutional "foreign affairs" authority. Next, it observes generally that state oversight of pipeline siting decisions does not appear to violate existing federal law or the Constitution. Finally, the report suggests that State Department's implementation of the existing authority to issue presidential permits appears to allow for judicial review of its National Environmental Policy Act determinations.
Date: January 23, 2012
Creator: Vann, Adam; Alexander, Kristina; Burrows, Vanessa K. & Thomas, Kenneth R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Virginia class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The two Virginia-class boats requested for procurement in FY2013 are the final two in a group of eight covered by a multiyear procurement (MYP) arrangement for the period FY2009-FY2013. Issues for Congress include whether or not to approve the MYP arrangement request, whether to restore procurement of a second Virginia-class boat in FY2014, and the Virginia-class procurement rate in general.
Date: April 2, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years. The Navy's proposed FY2012 budget requested funding for the procurement of 10 new battle force ships. Issues for Congress include the appropriate future size and structure of the Navy in light of changes in strategic and budget circumstances, the sufficiency of the Navy's FY2012 30-year shipbuilding plan for achieving and maintaining the Navy's 313-ship goal, and the affordability of the FY2012 30-year shipbuilding plan.
Date: January 6, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Recreation on Federal Lands

Description: The growing and diverse nature of recreation on federal lands has increased the challenge of balancing recreation with other land uses, and balancing different types of recreation. Motorized recreation has been particularly controversial, with issues centering on access and environmental impacts. The 109th Congress may consider legislation and conduct oversight on issues involving recreation on federal lands, including traditional recreational pursuits and newer forms of motorized recreation. Other federal land recreation issues of possible interest include recreational uses within the National Wildlife Refuge System, recreation at federal water, recreation fees, and Grand Canyon Colorado River management.
Date: April 25, 2005
Creator: Calvert, Kori & Vincent, Carol Hardy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Description: Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried, and punished according to the laws of the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under certain limited circumstances. A surprising number of federal criminal statutes have extraterritorial application, but prosecutions have been few. This may be because when extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction does exist, practical and legal complications, and sometimes diplomatic considerations, may counsel against its exercise.
Date: February 15, 2012
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry: Federal Financial Assistance and Restructuring

Description: This report looks at TARP and federal government assistance to General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford Motors. In particular, the history of these transactions and how they were affecte by Congress, Senate, President Bush, and President Obama.
Date: January 30, 2009
Creator: Cooney, Stephen; Bickley, James M.; Chaikind, Hinda; Pettit, Carol A.; Purcell, Patrick; Rapaport, Carol et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the Navy's plan to develop and design a class of 12 next-generation ballistic missile submarines, or SSBN(X)s, as replacements for the 14 Ohio class SSBNs currently in operation. The report explores certain related issues for Congress, including the affordability of the project and its potential impact on other Navy shipbuilding programs, alternatives to the program, and which shipyard or shipyards will build the proposed ships.
Date: April 5, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the past four years of administration proposals to terminate the program to develop the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 engine as an alternative to the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine that currently powers the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). These proposals have been continually rejected by Congress. The Obama Administration's FY2011 budget submission against proposes to terminate the program. This report explores both sides of the termination argument.
Date: January 10, 2012
Creator: Gertler, Jeremiah
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the Navy's plan to develop and design a class of 12 next-generation ballistic missile submarines, or SSBN(X)s, as replacements for the 14 Ohio class SSBNs currently in operation. The report explores certain related issues for Congress, including the affordability of the project and its potential impact on other Navy shipbuilding programs, alternatives to the program, and which shipyard or shipyards will build the proposed ships.
Date: April 22, 2011
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the past four years of administration proposals to terminate the program to develop the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 engine as an alternative to the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine that currently powers the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). These proposals have been continually rejected by Congress. The Obama Administration's FY2011 budget submission against proposes to terminate the program. This report explores both sides of the termination argument.
Date: April 20, 2011
Creator: Gertler, Jeremiah
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Piracy off the Horn of Africa

Description: This report discusses recent (2010) pirate attacks on vessels, including United States vessels, in the waters off the Horn of Africa. The Horn of Africa is sometimes called the Somali Peninsula and includes the nations of Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia. This report explores reasons behind the increased number of pirate attacks in recent years, as well as what efforts are being taken to combat said attacks, including those by the 111th Congress and President Obama and his Administration.
Date: April 27, 2011
Creator: Ploch, Lauren; Blanchard, Christopher M.; O'Rourke, Ronald; Mason, R. Chuck & King, Rawle O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department