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Freedom of Information Act Amendments: 109th Congress

Description: This report discusses the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which was designed to enable any person — individual or corporate, regardless of citizenship — to request, without explanation or justification, presumptive access to existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records on any topic.
Date: February 25, 2005
Creator: Relyea, Harold C.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Legislation in the 109th Congress

Description: This report reviews the status of energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation introduced during the 109th Congress. Action in the second session has focused on appropriations bills; the first session focused on omnibus energy policy bill H.R. 6 and several appropriations bills. this report describes several major pieces of legislation, including the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Transportation Equity Act. For each bill listed in this report, a brief description and a summary of action are given, including references to committee hearings and reports. Also, a selected list of hearings on renewable energy is included.
Date: April 12, 2005
Creator: Sissine, Fred

Continuity of Operations (COOP) in the Executive Branch: Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: Spurred in part by occasional warnings of potential terrorist threats in the post- 9/11 era, some policymakers have intensified their focus on continuity of operations (COOP) issues. COOP planning is a segment of federal government contingency planning linked to continuity of government (COG). Together, COOP and COG are designed to ensure survival of a constitutional form of government and the continuity of essential federal functions. This report focuses primarily on executive branch COOP activities.
Date: January 31, 2005
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric

Cuba: Issues for the 109th Congress

Description: This report, which will be updated regularly, examines issues in U.S.-Cuban relations and tracks legislative initiatives on Cuba in the 109th Congress. The 109th Congress will likely continue an active interest in Cuba concerning human rights, debate over economic sanctions (especially on travel), food and agricultural exports to Cuba, terrorism issues, Radio and TV Marti, bilateral anti-drug cooperation, and migration issues.
Date: January 13, 2005
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.

Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: Major amendments to the Clean Air Act were among the first items on the agenda of the 109th Congress, with S. 131 (the Clear Skies Act) scheduled for markup by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee March 9. The most prominent air quality issues discussed in this report are; Clear Skies / Multi-Pollutant Legislation, Mercury from Power Plants, New Source Review (NSR), MTBE and Ethanol, Ozone Nonattainment Area Deadlines, and Conformity of Transportation Plans and SIPs.
Date: June 28, 2005
Creator: McCarthy, James E.

Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: Major amendments to the Clean Air Act were among the first items on the agenda of the 109th Congress, with S. 131 (the Clear Skies Act) scheduled for markup by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee March 9. The most prominent air quality issues discussed in this report are; Clear Skies / Multi-Pollutant Legislation, Mercury from Power Plants, New Source Review (NSR), MTBE and Ethanol, Ozone Nonattainment Area Deadlines, and Conformity of Transportation Plans and SIPs.
Date: April 22, 2005
Creator: McCarthy, James E.

Energy Policy: Comprehensive Energy Legislation (H.R. 6) in the 109th Congress

Description: The House passed H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, on April 21, 2005 (249-183). The legislation includes a “safe harbor” provision to protect methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) refiners from product liability suits, which was retained after a close vote on an amendment to drop the language (213-219). In the 108th Congress, there was opposition to this provision in the Senate. It is unclear how its inclusion may affect Senate passage of an energy bill in the 109th Congress. House Republicans have indicated that a compromise will be sought to satisfy the other body. Language in the House-passed bill would also authorize opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to exploration and development. An amendment to delete the ANWR provisions from H.R. 6 was defeated (200-231).
Date: May 31, 2005
Creator: Bamberger, Robert L. & Behrens, Carl E.

Environmental Protection Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: Environmental protection concerns span a wide variety of issues, including clean air, water quality, chemical security, and environmental aspects of other major issue areas such as transportation and defense. This issue brief provides an overview of key environmental issues that are receiving or may receive attention in the 109th Congress. The sections on specific issues contain references to more detailed and extensive CRS reports on the subjects covered.
Date: April 27, 2005
Creator: Fletcher, Susan R. & Isler, Margaret M.

Association Health Plans: Legislation in the 109th Congress

Description: An estimated 41.2 million people were without health insurance in 2001. Legislation under consideration by the 108th and earlier Congresses is intended to assist small employers in offering health insurance as a benefit to their workers. A new bill, H.R. 4281, introduced on May 5, 2004, The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 6601s. 545), and a number of bills from the earlier Congresses include provisions creating new groups for small firms to join or encouraging the growth of existing groups so that small employers can band together to offer coverage to their employees. Opponents of the AHP approach raise concerns that unintended negative consequences would arise, negating the benefits that the new groups would create. While the proposed AHPs are not likely to immediately undermine the small group market, they are likely to require additional features to significantly expand insurance coverage among the uninsured.
Date: May 26, 2005
Creator: Hearne, Jean P.

Cuba: Issues for the 109th Congress

Description: This report, which will be updated regularly, examines issues in U.S.-Cuban relations and tracks legislative initiatives on Cuba in the 109th Congress. The 109th Congress will likely continue an active interest in Cuba concerning human rights, debate over economic sanctions (especially on travel), food and agricultural exports to Cuba, terrorism issues, Radio and TV Marti, bilateral anti-drug cooperation, and migration issues.
Date: July 7, 2005
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.