Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Passenger Rail Security: Overview of Issues
No Description Available.
Passenger Rail Security: Overview of Issues
No Description Available.
Passenger Rail Security: Overview of Issues
No Description Available.
Fatal Balloon Accident Highlights Disagreement Between Safety Agencies
This report briefly discusses the the safety of hot-air balloons and examines the current regulatory climate. On July 30, 2016, a hot-air balloon tour flight crashed about 30 miles south of Austin, Texas, killing the pilot and all 15 passengers on board.
The Renewable Fuel Standard: In Brief
This report provides a basic description of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), including some of the widely discussed issues.
Waiver Authority Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
This report provides a brief overview of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program and discusses the process and criteria for EPA to approve a waiver petition. Transportation fuels are required by federal law to contain a minimum amount of renewable fuel each year. The RFS, established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct, P.L. 109-58) and amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA, P.L. 110-140), requires that 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended into gasoline and other transportation fuels in 2012.
Essential Air Service (EAS): Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides an overview of the Essential Air Service (EAS) program and discusses the changes introduced by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014.
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program
This report provides background on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program and discusses spending during FY2014 and the proposed budget for FY 2015.
Essential Air Service (EAS): Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides an overview of the Essential Air Service (EAS) program and the legislative issues surrounding it.
Essential Air Service: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides an overview of the Essential Air Service (EAS) program and the legislative issues surrounding it.
Surface Transportation Funding and Finance
This report discusses changes in funding to the national surface transportation infrastructure, especially in light of the recession that began in 2007, which led to decreases in driving and fuel use. This report focuses on possible revenue sources for surface transportation infrastructure. It begins with a brief discussion of the problems associated with the trust fund financing system and then explores possible immediate and longer-term solutions to the financing problem.
Status of Mexican Trucks in the United States: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers frequently asked questions regarding the current plan to permit Mexican trucks into the United States.
Keeping America's Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress
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.
Waiver Authority Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
This report provides a brief overview of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program and discusses the process and criteria for EPA to approve a waiver petition. Transportation fuels are required by federal law to contain a minimum amount of renewable fuel each year. The RFS, established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct, P.L. 109-58) and amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA, P.L. 110-140), requires that 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended into gasoline and other transportation fuels in 2012.
Amtrak: Budget and Reauthorization
This report discuses Amtrak, which was created by Congress in 1970 to provide intercity passenger railroad service. Without a yearly federal grant to cover operating losses, Amtrak would not survive as presently configured. This issue brief discusses reform proposals from both the Administration and Amtrak in the 109th Congress.
Hazardous Materials Transportation: Vulnerability to Terrorists, Federal Activities, and Options to Reduce Risks
This report discusses the scope and nature of the vulnerability of hazardous materials (hazmats) transportation and its potential relations to terrorists attacks.
Grain Transport: Modal Trends and Infrastructure Implications
This report examines the grain-handling system and the infrastructure that supports it. The first part of the report briefly identifies transportation funding issues before Congress that are particularly relevant to grain shippers. The report then describes how grain is delivered to market, including long-term trends taking place and the underlying reasons for those trends. The final part identifies some of the implications these trends have for targeting future investment in the grain-handling system.
ISTEA Reauthorization: Highway and Transit Legislative Proposals in the 105th Congress, 2nd Session
This report discusses the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), programs which are continuing to operate on the basis of limited interim financing enacted in the closing moments of the 1st Session.
Surface Transportation: Reauthorization of TEA-21
This report briefly examines the debate regarding spending levels to reauthorize federal highway, highway safety, and transit programs.
Surface Transportation: Reauthorization of TEA-21
This report briefly examines the debate regarding spending levels to reauthorize federal highway, highway safety, and transit programs.
International Air Service Controversies: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses some of the most frequently asked questions related to on-going controversies related to international "open skies" agreements.
Upper Mississippi River System: Proposals to Restore an Inland Waterway’s Ecosystem
No Description Available.
The Maritime Security Program (MSP) in an International Commercial Context: A Discussion
No Description Available.
Harbors and Inland Waterways: An Overview of Federal Financing
No Description Available.
Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety - Federal Program and Legislative Issues
No Description Available.
Japan's Sea Shipment of Plutonium
No Description Available.
Border and Transportation Security: Possible New Directions and Policy Options
There is consensus that Border and Transportation Security (BTS) is a pivotal function in protecting the American people from terrorists and their instruments of destruction. The issue for Congress is how to achieve desired levels of security, while not compromising other important values in the process. This report addresses possible new approaches and policy options that might be explored by Congress to attain these goals. It is one of three CRS reports in a series that make use of analytical frameworks to better understand complex problems in BTS and to facilitate consideration of alternative policies and practices.
Security Threat Assessments for Hazmat Drivers
No Description Available.
The Federal Role in Rail Transit Safety
On June 22, 2009, two transit trains in Washington, DC, collided, resulting in nine deaths and dozens of injuries. It was the worst crash in the history of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's rail transit system. This crash has raised questions about the safety of rail transit and the government's role in ensuring that safety. Nationwide, rail transit is considered one of the safest modes of transportation. This report discusses the State Safety Oversight Program, which went into effect in 1997 and mandates that states are responsible for the safety of the rail transit systems within their borders. This report also explores several issues that Federal Transit Administration (FTA) representatives have discussed in regards to improving the Safety Oversight Program.
Changes in Airport Passenger Screening Technologies and Procedures: Frequently Asked Questions
This report contains answers to numerous questions regarding airport passenger screening.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Trade Facilitation, Enforcement, and Security
This report describes and analyzes U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) role in the U.S. import process. (The report does not cover CBP's role in the U.S. export control system.)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Trade Facilitation, Enforcement, and Security
This report describes and analyzes U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) role in the U.S. import process. (The report does not cover CBP's role in the U.S. export control system.)
Keystone XL Pipeline: Overview and Recent Developments
This report describes the Keystone XL Pipeline Project and the process that the State Department must complete to decide whether it will approve or deny TransCanada's permit application. The report also discusses key energy security, economic, and environmental issues relevant to the State Department's national interest determination. Some of these issues include perspectives among various stakeholders both in favor of and opposed to the construction of the pipeline. Finally, the report discusses the constitutional basis for the State Department's authority to issue a Presidential Permit, and opponents' possible challenges to this authority.
Piracy: A Legal Definition
This report first examines the historical development of the offense of piracy, as defined by Congress and codified in the United States Code. The focus then turns to how contemporary international agreements define piracy. Finally, the report highlights developments in two trials involving charges of piracy in the federal district court in Norfolk, VA, United States v. Said and United States v. Hasan, specifically focusing on how the courts interpreted the definition of piracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1651.
F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
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.
U.S. Rail Transportation of Crude Oil: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the challenges in the transportation of oil, as refineries that once received crude oil principally from oceangoing tankers are now seeing increasing deliveries by domestic transport. It also outlines possible issues for Congress including rail transport of oil versus pipelines, and the possible increase of oil spills from rail transport.
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs).
Public-Private Partnerships in Highway and Transit Infrastructure Provision
This report begins with a brief discussion of the surface transportation system and its financing needs as background to the debate on public-private partnerships (PPPs). That is followed by sections describing the different types of PPPs, with details of a few prominent examples, and the development of federal legislation with respect to PPPs. The report then discusses the main issues of contention with the construction and longterm leasing of highways by the private sector, particularly as they relate to the funding, planning, and operation of the surface transportation system, before providing some policy options Congress may wish to consider.
National Aviation Security Policy, Strategy, and Mode-Specific Plans: Background and Considerations for Congress
This report examines the current National Aviation Security Policy, the National Strategy for Aviation Security, and formal mode-specific plans developed for implementing this strategic approach. This report also identifies and discusses some overarching considerations for congressional oversight and possible legislative action regarding the U.S. policy and strategy for securing the aviation domain.
Keystone XL Pipeline: Overview and Recent Developments
This report describes the Keystone XL Pipeline Project and the process that the State Department must complete to decide whether it will approve or deny TransCanada's permit application. The report also discusses key energy security, economic, and environmental issues relevant to the State Department's national interest determination. Some of these issues include perspectives among various stakeholders both in favor of and opposed to the construction of the pipeline. Finally, the report discusses the constitutional basis for the State Department's authority to issue a Presidential Permit, and opponents' possible challenges to this authority.
F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
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.
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). These 91 planned cutters are intended as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft. The Coast Guard began procuring NSCs and FRCs a few years ago, and the first few NSCs and FRCs are now in service.
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs).
EPA's Vessel General Permits: Background and Issues
This report covers two proposed permit drafts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding Vessel General Permits (VGPs): one for large vessels to replace the 2008 VGP (draft VGP), and one for smaller vessels that currently are covered by a congressionally-enacted temporary moratorium (draft sVGP).
F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
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). This report explores both sides of the termination argument.
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). These 91 planned cutters are intended as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft. The Coast Guard's proposed FY2017 budget requests a total of $467 million in acquisition funding for the three programs.
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs).
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Coast Guard's funding requests and acquisition strategies for the NSC, OPC, and FRC programs.
Motor Vehicle Manufacturing Employment: National and State Trends and Issues
The 110th Congress is addressing many issues that could have a major impact on the U.S. motor vehicle manufacturing industry. This includes adopting new fuel economy standards for automobiles and light trucks (P.L. 110-140), plus consideration of legislation that may be used to help promote the manufacturing of future generations of fuel-efficient vehicles (S. 2191). This report looks at four sets of issues that have received attention in Congress or among the public more widely, with respect to employment in the U.S. motor manufacturing industry.
Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas and Crude Oil: Federal and State Regulatory Authority
This report discusses the relationship between federal and state authority over siting and safety of crude oil and natural gas transmission and gathering pipelines and related facilities.