Search Results

Office of Consumer Affairs

Description: The Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) seeks to promote a better understanding between businesses and consumers, to help businesses improve the quality of their services, to educate consumers to make wise purchasing decisions, and to provide the consumer viewpoint in the development of policy. The office: assists consumers with marketplace issues and educates them about resources that are available to help them; publishes guides to help businesses respond to consumer needs; and represents and coordinates the Department's consumer affairs activities with consumer groups, other Federal, state, county, and municipal government agencies, and international organizations.
Date: January 1, 1998
Creator: Office of Consumer Affairs
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Special Report on Review of "The Department of Energy's Quality Assurance Process for Prime Recipients' Reporting for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act"

Description: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was established to jumpstart the U.S. economy, create or save millions of jobs, spur technological advances in health and science, and invest in the Nation's energy future. The Department of Energy (Department) will receive an unprecedented $37 billion in Recovery Act funding to support a variety of science, energy, and environmental initiatives. The majority of the funding received by the Department will be allocated to various recipients through grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and other financial instruments. To ensure transparency and accountability, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires that recipients report on their receipt and use of Recovery Act funds on a quarterly basis to FederalReporting.gov. OMB also specifies that Federal agencies should develop and implement formal procedures to help ensure the quality of recipient reported information. Data that must be reported by recipients includes total funding received; funds expended or obligated; projects or activities for which funds were obligated or expended; and the number of jobs created and/or retained. OMB requires that Federal agencies perform limited data quality reviews of recipient data to identify material omissions and/or significant reporting errors and notify the recipients of the need to make appropriate and timely changes to erroneous reports. As part of a larger audit of recipient Recovery Act reporting and performance measurement and in support of a Government-wide review sponsored by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, we completed an interim review to determine whether the Department had established a process to ensure the quality and accuracy of recipient reports. Our review revealed that the Department had developed a quality assurance process to facilitate the quarterly reviews of recipient data. The process included procedures to compare existing information from the Department's financial information systems with that reported to FederalReporting.gov by ...
Date: October 1, 2009
Creator: None
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Enhancing the DNA Patent Database

Description: Final Report on Award No. DE-FG0201ER63171 Principal Investigator: LeRoy B. Walters February 18, 2008 This project successfully completed its goal of surveying and reporting on the DNA patenting and licensing policies at 30 major U.S. academic institutions. The report of survey results was published in the January 2006 issue of Nature Biotechnology under the title “The Licensing of DNA Patents by US Academic Institutions: An Empirical Survey.” Lori Pressman was the lead author on this feature article. A PDF reprint of the article will be submitted to our Program Officer under separate cover. The project team has continued to update the DNA Patent Database on a weekly basis since the conclusion of the project. The database can be accessed at dnapatents.georgetown.edu. This database provides a valuable research tool for academic researchers, policymakers, and citizens. A report entitled Reaping the Benefits of Genomic and Proteomic Research: Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation, and Public Health was published in 2006 by the Committee on Intellectual Property Rights in Genomic and Protein Research and Innovation, Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy at the National Academies. The report was edited by Stephen A. Merrill and Anne-Marie Mazza. This report employed and then adapted the methodology developed by our research project and quoted our findings at several points. (The full report can be viewed online at the following URL: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11487&page=R1). My colleagues and I are grateful for the research support of the ELSI program at the U.S. Department of Energy.
Date: February 18, 2008
Creator: Walters, LeRoy B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The analytical foundations of conservation policy

Description: The conservation paradigm is described here as: (1) reflecting the policy goal of energy efficiency, (2) the investment model that market barrier inhibit energy efficiency investments and (3) the emphasis of engineering estimates of market efficiency. In contrast, the economics paradigm emphasizes: (1) economic efficiency and equity, (2) market failures or market imperfections as impediments to achieving economic efficiency and (3) the behavior of markets to make efficient choices. Market barriers discourage investments in energy efficiency, but this is irrelevant for policy purposes where energy efficiency differs from economic efficiency. Where market barriers discourage economically efficient investments, they are of dubious significance for policy purposes unless they are market failures. The market barriers alleged in the conservation literature typically do not coincide with market failures. In a competitive and efficient market economy, investments judged efficient by engineering and present value calculations will not instantaneously achieve a market share of 100 percent. Barriers that delay diffusion are not necessarily appropriate for Government policy.
Date: March 1, 1994
Creator: Sutherland, R.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

New Zealand Asia-Pacific energy series country report

Description: This report on New Zealand is one of a series of country studies intended to provide a continuous, long-term source of energy sector analysis for the Asia-Pacific region. This report addresses significant changes occurring due to the reform, deregulation, and privatization of the economy in general and the energy sector in particular; provides the reader with an overview of the economic and political situation; petroleum and gas issues are highlighted, particularly the implications of foreign trade in oil and gas; provides the latest available statistics and insights to energy policy that are not generally available elsewhere.
Date: March 1, 1992
Creator: Yamaguchi, N.D. & Keevill, H.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wind Power Outlook 2004

Description: The brochure, expected to be updated annually, provides the American Wind Energy Association's (AWAE's) up-to-date assessment of the wind industry. It provides a summary of the state of wind power in the U.S., including the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. It provides summary information on the growth of the industry, policy-related factors such as the federal wind energy production tax credit status, comparisons with natural gas, and public views on wind energy.
Date: January 1, 2004
Creator: anon.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Impacts of Western Area Power Administration`s power marketing alternatives on retail electricity rates and utility financial viability

Description: Changes in power contract terms for customers of Western`s Salt Lake City Area Office affect electricity rates for consumers of electric power in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. The impacts of electricity rate changes on consumers are studied by measuring impacts on the rates charged by individual utility systems, determining the average rates in regional areas, and conducting a detailed rate analysis of representative utility systems. The primary focus is an evaluation of the way retail electricity rates for Western`s preference customers vary with alternative pricing and power quantity commitment terms under Western`s long-term contracts to sell power (marketing programs). Retail rate impacts are emphasized because changes in the price of electricity are the most direct economic effect on businesses and residences arising from different Western contractual and operational policies. Retail rates are the mechanism by which changes in cost associated with Western`s contract terms are imposed on ultimate consumers, and rate changes determine the dollar level of payments for electric power incurred by the affected consumers. 41 figs., 9 tabs.
Date: March 1, 1995
Creator: Bodmer, E.; Fisher, R.E. & Hemphill, R.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Industrial ecology: A basis for sustainable relations and cooperation

Description: The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) seeks to address, in a cooperative manner, the environmental issues affecting the North American region and understand the linkages between environment and economy. Broadly, the goal of the CEC can be thought of as an attempt to achieve a sustainable economy concomitantly with continued economic, cultural, and technological evolution. The emerging field of industrial ecology provides a useful means for balancing the environmental and economical objectives of NAFTA. As NAFTA stimulates economic cooperation and growth, we must collectively develop mechanisms that enhance the environmental quality of the region. LLNL`s effort in industrial ecology provides the scientific basis and innovative use of technology to reconcile environmental and economic concerns. Nevertheless, these are not issues which can be resolved by a single institution. Efficient use of the linkages established by NAFTA is necessary to nurture our regional partnership which forms the basis for a sustainable environment, economy and relationship.
Date: July 19, 1996
Creator: Blades, K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Government`s role in energy technology R&D: A proposed model for strategic guidance

Description: There is very little argument that the federal government has a role in the funding of basic research. There is also consensus that the federal government should not fund research that the private sector would do on its own volition. In this paper, we examine the role of government in the ``grey`` area between these extremes. This area includes generic, crosscutting, and applied technology development and deployment. We first present some general trends in US R&D investment and make international comparisons. These trends clearly show that the amount the US spends on R&D has fallen precipitously since the 1980s. The R&D expenditure data also reveal striking differences in the shares of government R&D allocated to different social objectives between the US and other major industrialized countries. We then review the linear model--the model that characterizes much of the postwar paradigm for US technology policy-- and evaluate alternatives to it. These alternative models allow for different types of innovation and explicitly account for feedback from the marketplace and linkages to the private sector, universities, national laboratories. Based on the nonlinear model of innovation, we outline a structure for an R&D technology council that would provide guidance to DOE on energy technology R&D. The energy technology R&D council would advise DOE on funding priorities for different types of research. Basic research would be conducted at universities and national laboratories as appropriate. Generic technology development would be conducted by teams consisting of national laboratories, the private sector, and universities. The private sector would participate directly in the generic technology development by supplying information and funding. For those activities requiring the development of applied technology, the private sector would cost share in much the same way as is done in the current system with cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs).
Date: April 1, 1996
Creator: Perlack, R.D. & Shelton, R.B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Economic-efficiency considerations in restructuring electric markets

Description: In response to the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission`s subsequent rulemaking on transmission access, many states are exploring options to restructure their electric industries. In their deliberations on restructuring, policymakers should consider (1) the reliability of the electric system; (2) income-distribution effects on ratepayers and utilities; (3) social consequences such as effects on energy conservation, renewable energy, and the environment; and (4) economic efficiency. We address economic-efficiency considerations in this study. Economic efficiency is important because it is one of the primary reasons that policymakers should consider restructuring in the first place: improving the electric-industry`s efficiency lowers costs and, hence, electric prices. In this study, we look at the sources of (in)efficiency in existing and proposed electric markets with the objective of guiding policymakers to design efficient electric markets. The advantages of a competitive market are well known: it leads to lower costs for the utility, lower prices for consumers, more product choices, better customer service, and often the need for less regulation by federal and state agencies. In the short run, firms who cannot produce at the market-clearing price are forced to leave the industry, ensuring that customers have the lowest price possible. In the long run, competition promotes innovation and lower costs. The physical and institutional characteristics of the U.S. electric industry, however, could be impediments to attaining efficiently run, competitive markets. Because of these characteristics, there are multiple sources of efficiencies and inefficiencies in existing electric markets, and there will be multiple sources in restructured ones. The objective of policymakers should not be to trade one set of inefficiencies in existing electric markets for another set in restructured markets.
Date: December 1, 1996
Creator: Hill, L.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Progress on linking gender and sustainable energy

Description: The field of gender and energy has been identified as critical in global sustainable energy development and is increasingly important to decision makers. The theme of women and energy was of significance at the 1998 World Renewable Energy Congress in Florence, Italy. This paper traces further developments in this field by summarizing selected programmatic initiatives, meetings, and publications over the past 18 months.
Date: April 5, 2000
Creator: Farhar, B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

India's iron and steel industry: Productivity, energy efficiency and carbon emissions

Description: Historical estimates of productivity growth in India's iron and steel sector vary from indicating an improvement to a decline in the sector's productivity. The variance may be traced to the time period of study, source of data for analysis, and type of indices and econometric specifications used for reporting productivity growth. The authors derive both growth accounting and econometric estimates of productivity growth for this sector. Their results show that over the observed period from 1973--74 to 1993--94 productivity declined by 1.71{percent} as indicated by the Translog index. Calculations of the Kendrick and Solow indices support this finding. Using a translog specification the econometric analysis reveals that technical progress in India's iron and steel sector has been biased towards the use of energy and material, while it has been capital and labor saving. The decline in productivity was caused largely by the protective policy regarding price and distribution of iron and steel as well as by large inefficiencies in public sector integrated steel plants. Will these trends continue into the future, particularly where energy use is concerned? Most likely they will not. The authors examine the current changes in structure and energy efficiency undergoing in the sector. Their analysis shows that with the liberalization of the iron and steel sector, the industry is rapidly moving towards world-best technology, which will result in fewer carbon emissions and more efficient energy use in existing and future plants.
Date: October 1, 1998
Creator: Schumacher, Katja & Sathaye, Jayant
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Government and industry meet to discuss environmental stewardship and economic development

Description: At the New Mexico Conference on the Environment, government and industry representatives met to address environmental stewardship and economic development, particularly as these issues relate to New Mexico. The session took place March 13, 1996, from 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM, in the Cochiti/Taos room at the Albuquerque Convection Center. The first part of the session dealt with environmental stewardship. The second session discussed economic development. This paper chronicles the highlights of this unique session. It attempts to capture the essence of each speaker; therefore, rather than a strict narrative, this paper consists of a series of quotes that, when seen as a whole, provide an understanding of how government and industry view environmental stewardship and economic development. Moreover, these quotes reveal that these organizations continue to develop effective methodologies to collaborate.
Date: May 1, 1996
Creator: Ramos, O. Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Russia`s Great Game in a nuclear South Asia

Description: Lost in the noise of Pakistan`s nuclear weapon tests in the western Baluchistan desert on 28 and 30 May was a surprising diplomatic move by Russia. On 23 May, Russia became the first state to express its willingness to recognize India as a nuclear-weapon state, provided that India commits itself to the international nonproliferation regime. Russia`s Ambassador to India, Albert Chernyshev, stated in the days after the Indian but before the Pakistani nuclear tests that ``India proclaimed itself a nuclear weapons power. One now hopes that India will behave as a nuclear weapons power by acting responsibly. Every nuclear weapons state has some rights. But for getting recognition it must have some obligations. Once it is ready to show these obligations by joining the nonproliferation regime, its recognition as a nuclear weapons power will follow.`` Russia`s Great Game in South Asia in pursuit of short-term economic and other interests appears to be a serious obstacle on the path to dealing effectively with the South Asian nuclear crisis. Grave damage to security, stability and nonproliferation has already resulted from India`s and Pakistan`s actions, but the situation does not have to spiral out of control. It is imperative that the international community respond appropriately to this challenge. The international community is at a crossroads and Russia`s actions will be critical. Will it be willing to go beyond the narrow economic and political calculations reflected in its diplomatic posturing, and take actions that will serve its long-term interests by bridging differences with other great powers in order to demonstrate to India that it has not chosen the right path. If Russia decides it can gain from India`s current, perilous path and blocks or otherwise frustrates appropriate responses, the nuclear danger on the subcontinent will escalate and the global regimes to promote nonproliferation and ...
Date: December 31, 1998
Creator: Pilat, J.F. & Taylor, T.T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National environmental/economic infrastructure system model

Description: This is the final report for a one-year Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The ultimate goal was to develop a new methodology for macroeconomic modeling applied to national environmental and economic problems. A modeling demonstration and briefings were produced, and significant internal technical support and program interest has been generated. External contacts with DOE`s Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM), US State Department, and the US intelligence community were established. As a result of DOE-EM interest and requests for further development, this research has been redirected to national environmental simulations as a new LDRD project.
Date: August 1, 1997
Creator: Drake, R.H.; Hardie, R.W.; Loose, V.W. & Booth, S.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Public problems: Still waiting on the marketplace for solutions

Description: This report addresses the need for government sponsored R and D to address real public problems. The motivation is that a public benefit of the money spent must be demonstrated. The areas identified as not having appropriate attention resulting in unmet public needs include healthcare cost, cost and benefits of regulations, infrastructure problems, defense spending misaligned with foreign policy objectives, the crime problem, energy impact on the environment, the education problem, low productivity growth industry sectors, the income distribution problem, the aging problem, the propagation of disease and policy changes needed to address the solution of these problems.
Date: October 1, 1997
Creator: Gover, J.; Carayannis, E. & Huray, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Standard practice: Estimating the cost-effectiveness of coordinated DSM programs

Description: The purpose of this document is to describe and illustrate a methodology for estimating the cost-effectiveness of coordinated demand-side management (DSM) programs, extending California {open_quotes}standard practice{close_quotes} to address the special evaluation challenges arising from these programs. A coordinated DSM program is one that is co-administered by a state or local government agency and a gas or electric utility. Although the primary subject of this document is coordinated low-income programs, the principles are easily extended to estimating the cost-effectiveness of all coordinated programs.
Date: December 1, 1994
Creator: Hill, L. J. & Brown, M. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

1997 U.S. Department of Energy Strategic Plan

Description: With the end of the Cold War and the election of President Clinton, the Department of Energy (DOE) set a new course which began with the publication of its first departmental strategic plan in April 1994. Entitled ``Fueling a Competitive Economy, it provided the framework and shared vision for meeting responsibilities in energy, national security, environmental quality, and science and technology. The strategic plan was the guidepost for the formulation of the Department`s FY 1996, FY 1997, and FY 1998 budgets and was critical to the development of the Department`s Strategic Alignment Initiative, designed to save $1.7 billion over five years. This current plan, which has been significantly improved through a very close consultation process with Congress and customers stakeholders, takes DOE to the next important performance level by being more directly linked to actions and results. It defines a strategic goal for each of the Department`s four business lines and, in the spirit of the Government Performance and Results Act and the National Performance Review, identifies a fifth goal addressing corporate management. Reengineering the business practices, managing for results, being open with neighbors and stakeholders, and ensuring the safety and health of DOE workers and the public are, and will continue to be, among the highest of priorities. Over the coming years, DOE plans to achieve their strategic goals through specific identifiable strategies. Each business line has clear objectives and straightforward ways of defining whether DOE has succeeded in meeting those objectives.
Date: September 1997
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bank Failures: Recent Trends and Policy Options

Description: During the 1980s the U.S. banking industry has experienced a rapidly growing number of failures. Many factors have contributed to this trend including deregulation, technology, individual bank management, and economic conditions. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) handles insured bank failures. Congress has been monitoring the recent trend and is concerned with the FDIC’s ability to continue to perform its supervisory and insurance operations. The present situation, information on key factors affecting the banking industry, and the FDIC’s role when a bank fails is discussed in this report. The reference section of this issue brief contains a list of CRS products providing background on the FDIC and legislative issues relevant to the agency.
Date: July 14, 1987
Creator: Smale, Pauline
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bankruptcy and Business Failure Data

Description: The purpose of this report is to provide statistical data on the actual number of businesses that are filing for bankruptcy or ceasing operations. Tabular data of both a historical and current nature concerning business failures and bankruptcies is provided.
Date: August 20, 1982
Creator: Scott, Oscar
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Budget Deficits: Causes, Effects and Some Remedial Options

Description: In 1981 Congress enacted extensive changes in taxing and spending policies that supporters of these changes expected to generate sufficient revenues, despite a series of tax rate cuts, to balance the budget by FY84. After the onset of recession in early 1982, however, the Reagan Administration's projections showed widening budget deficits, which culminated in an actual FY83 deficit of $195.4 billion. Despite enactment of the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, and, more recently, the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984, large deficits are expected to persist, even under continued favorable economic conditions, unless Federal taxing and spending policies are altered dramatically.
Date: July 15, 1985
Creator: Grinnell, David & Cox, William A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Summary of Prevailing Views on the Sources of Inflation

Description: It is the purpose of this paper to present the range of viewpoints concerning the causes of inflation. Inflation is defined and distinguished from changes' in relative prices. The Monetarist, Post-Keynesian, and neo-Keynesian positions are discussed to illustrate the variety of perceptions as to the sources of sustained increases in the general price level.
Date: January 30, 1981
Creator: Cashell, Brian W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department