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Dakota Access Pipeline: Siting Controversy

Description: This report discusses the Dakota Access Pipeline including background on the project and information about siting approval, as well as opposition and litigation against the pipeline.
Date: December 8, 2016
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Funding and Financing Highways and Public Transportation

Description: This report begins with a discussion of the problems associated with the trust fund financing system (which supports both federal highway and public transportation programs) and then explores possible options for financing surface transportation infrastructure.
Date: November 1, 2016
Creator: Kirk, Robert S. & Mallett, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fatal Balloon Accident Highlights Disagreement Between Safety Agencies

Description: 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.
Date: August 4, 2016
Creator: Elias, Bart
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet. The Coast Guard's proposed FY2017 budget requests $150 million in acquisition funding for a new polar icebreaker that the Coast Guard wants to begin building in FY2020. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Administration's FY2017 acquisition funding request for a new polar icebreaker, and, more generally, whether to approve, reject, or modify the Coast Guard's overall plan for sustaining and modernizing the polar icebreaking fleet.
Date: May 27, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Emergency Relief for Disaster-Damaged Roads and Transit Systems: In Brief

Description: This report describes Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) assistance for the repair and reconstruction of highways and bridges damaged by disasters (such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012) or catastrophic failures (such as the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge in Washington State in 2013). It begins with a brief discussion of the legislative origins of federal assistance, and then addresses eligibility issues and program operation.
Date: June 27, 2016
Creator: Kirk, Robert S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Transportation Security: Issues for the 114th Congress

Description: This report examines aviation, transit and passenger rail security, as well as port and maritime security. The difficulty and cost of protecting the transportation sector from attack raises a core question for policymakers, i.e., how much effort and resources to put toward protecting potential targets versus pursuing and fighting terrorists.
Date: May 9, 2016
Creator: Elias, Bart; Peterman, David R. & Frittelli, John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mileage-Based Road User Charges

Description: This report examines mileage-based user charges as an possible source of highway funding. Federal highway and public transportation programs are funded mainly by taxes on motor fuel that flow into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). The tax rates, set on a per-gallon basis, have not been raised since 1993, and motor fuel tax receipts have been insufficient to support the transportation programs authorized by Congress since FY2008.
Date: June 22, 2016
Creator: Kirk, Robert S. & Levinson, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Earthquake Risk and U.S. Highway Infrastructure: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report addresses a number of frequently asked questions about earthquake risk and highway system components, especially bridges. Earthquakes and related events, such as soil liquefaction, landslides, tsunamis, flooding, and fires, pose risks to highway infrastructure. Concerns about the U.S. highway system's seismic vulnerability stem from interest in protecting public safety, facilitating response and recovery efforts, and minimizing economic loss and social disruption.
Date: May 19, 2016
Creator: Mallett, William J.; Carter, Nicole T. & Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: 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.
Date: May 27, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cars, Trucks, and Climate: EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases from Mobile Sources

Description: This report focuses on EPA's completed and potential actions to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from mobile sources, relying on the authorities in Title II of the Clean Air Act (CAA). We begin with a brief discussion of the petitions and court action that led to EPA's regulatory decisions.
Date: March 16, 2016
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet. Congress's decisions on this issue could affect Coast Guard funding requirements, the Coast Guard's ability to perform its polar missions, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: March 21, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Transportation Spending Under an Earmark Ban

Description: This report explains what earmarks are and discusses their use in surface transportation finance. It then discusses how federal transportation funding is distributed with a ban in place and how Members of Congress might influence the distribution.
Date: March 17, 2016
Creator: Kirk, Robert S.; Mallett, William J. & Peterman, David R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: 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). Congress's decisions on these three programs could substantially affect Coast Guard capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: April 15, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Volkswagen, Defeat Devices, and the Clean Air Act: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report provides answers to a series of frequently asked questions focusing on a description of modern diesel technologies, their market and emissions profiles, and some potential reasons that could underlie the use of defeat devices. It summarizes the specific allegations filed against VW under the Clean Air Act, the current status of federal and state investigations, and the potential civil and criminal penalties. Further, the report introduces several outstanding issues currently under debate regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) resources and activities, and issues surrounding VW's defeat device.
Date: February 10, 2016
Creator: Canis, Bill; Lattanzio, Richard K.; Vann, Adam & Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran-U.S. Air Service Not Imminent

Description: This report discusses the prospect of air travel between Iran and the U.S., which last operated during 1979, when the U.S. government imposed an embargo on flights following the Iran hostage crisis. Since then, travel and air cargo shipments between the two countries have been routed through third countries, and their extent has been limited by U.S. sanctions.
Date: January 21, 2016
Creator: Tang, Rachel Y.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Freight Policy: In Brief

Description: This report discusses the federal role in freight system planning. The U.S. freight system is a complex network including four principal modes of transportation: The National Truck Network, railroads, barge and ship lines, and air carriers.
Date: February 5, 2016
Creator: Frittelli, John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department