Natural Resources
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go directly to report, PDF _ R41320 - Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster: Risk, Recovery, and Insurance Implications
12-Jul-2010; Rawle O. King; 24 p.
Abstract: The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is now being characterized as the largest spill to have occurred in U.S. waters. As efforts to contain the current spill proceed, the likely scale of clean-up costs and third-party damages has prompted congressional review .... [expand]  [read report]
Topics: Marine, Natural Resources
go directly to report, PDF _ RL31286 - Debt-for-Nature Initiatives and the Tropical Forest Conservation Act: Status and Implementation
30-Mar-2010; Pervaze A. Sheikh; 22 p.
Update: Previous releases:
October 22, 2007
October 11, 2006
September 29, 2004
.... [expand]  [read report]
Abstract: In the late 1980s, extensive foreign debt and degraded natural resources in developing nations led to the creation of debt-for-nature initiatives that reduced debt obligations, allowed for debt repayments in local currency as opposed to hard currency, and generated funds for the environment. Thes.... [expand]  [read report]
Topics: Biodiversity, Natural Resources, International
go directly to report, PDF _ R40155 - Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Overview and Issues
14-Jul-2010; Randy Schnepf, Brent D. Yacobucci; 33 p.
Update: Previous releases:
April 6, 2010
.... [expand]  [read report]
Abstract: Federal policy has played a key role in the emergence of the U.S. biofuels industry. Policy measures include minimum renewable fuel usage requirements, blending and production tax credits, an import tariff, loans and loan guarantees, and research grants. This report focuses on the mandated minimu.... [expand]  [read report]
Topics: Natural Resources, Transportation
go directly to report, PDF _ R41132 - Outer Continental Shelf Moratoria on Oil and Gas Development
15-Jun-2010; Curry L Hagerty; 22 p.
Update: Previous releases:
April 7, 2010
.... [expand]  [read report]
Abstract: Moratoria provisions for the outer continental shelf (OCS), enacted as part of the Department of the Interior appropriations over 26 years, prohibited federal spending on oil and gas development in certain locations and for certain activities. These annual congressional moratoria expired on Septe.... [expand]  [read report]
Topics: Marine, Natural Resources, Mining
go directly to report, PDF _ R41282 - Agriculture-Based Biofuels: Overview and Emerging Issues
22-Jun-2010; Randy Schnepf; 34 p.
Abstract: Since the late 1970s, U.S. policymakers at both the federal and state levels have enacted a variety of incentives, regulations, and programs to encourage the production and use of agriculture-based biofuels. Initially, federal biofuels policies were developed to help kick-start the biofuels indust.... [expand]  [read report]
Topics: Agriculture, Natural Resources
go directly to report, PDF _ RS21421 - Mountaintop Mining: Background on Current Controversies
12-Apr-2010; Claudia Copeland; 15 p.
Update: Previous Reports:
August 26, 2008
October 11, 2007
June 12, 2007
November 29, 2005
January 24, 2007
.... [expand]  [read report]
Abstract: Mountaintop removal mining involves removing the top of a mountain in order to recover the coal seams contained there. This practice occurs in six Appalachian states (Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Ohio). It creates an immense quantity of excess spoil (dirt and ro.... [expand]  [read report]
Topics: Natural Resources, Water, Legislative
go directly to report, PDF _ R40645 - U.S. Offshore Oil and Gas Resources: Prospects and Processes
1-Jun-2010; Marc Humphries, Robert Pirog, Gene Whitney; 34 p.
Abstract: Access to potential oil and gas resources under the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) continues to be controversial. Moratoria on leasing and development in certain areas were established by Congress (beginning in 1981) and by the President (beginning in 1990). These moratoria were largely elimi.... [expand]  [read report]
Topics: Natural Resources, Marine, Energy
go directly to report, PDF _ RL33341 - The Strategic Petroleum Reserve: History, Perspectives, and Issues
28-Dec-2009; Robert Bamberger; 16 p.
Update: Previous Releases:
February 20, 2009
September 19, 2008
June 6, 2008
November 1, 2007
February 22, 2007
April 3, 2006
June 19, 2006
.... [expand]  [read report]
Abstract: Congress authorized the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA, P.L. 94-163) to help prevent a repetition of the economic dislocation caused by the 1973-1974 Arab oil embargo. The program is managed by the Department of Energy (DOE). The capacity of the .... [expand]  [read report]
Topics: Natural Resources, Federal Agencies, Energy
go directly to report, PDF _ RL34042 - Provisions Supporting Ecosystem Services Markets in U.S. Farm Bill Legislation
15-Dec-2009; RenĂ©e Johnson; 13 p.
Update: Previous releases:
June 10, 2008
January 23, 2008
June 12, 2007
.... [expand]  [read report]
Abstract: Environmental goods and services are the benefits society obtains from the environment and ecosystems, both natural and managed, such as water filtration, flood control, provision of habitat, carbon storage, and many others. Farmers’ participation in providing these types of goods and services be.... [expand]  [read report]
Topics: Agriculture, Economics & Trade, Natural Resources
go directly to report, PDF _ R40811 - Wildfire Fuels and Fuel Reduction
16-Sep-2009; Ross W. Gorte; 18 p.
Abstract: Severe wildfires have been burning more area and more houses in recent years. Some assert that climate change is at least partly to blame; others claim that the increasing number of homes in and near the forest (the wildland-urban interface) is a major cause. However, most observers agree that wi.... [expand]  [read report]
Topics: Forests, Natural Resources
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