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2008

Congressional Research Service Reports

Articles 1 - 12 of 12

Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Wind Power In The United States: Technology, Economic, And Policy Issues, Jeffery Logan, Stan Mark Kaplan Jan 2008

Wind Power In The United States: Technology, Economic, And Policy Issues, Jeffery Logan, Stan Mark Kaplan

Congressional Research Service Reports

Rising energy prices and concern over greenhouse gas emissions have focused congressional attention on energy alternatives, including wind power. Although wind power currently provides only about 1% of U.S. electricity needs, it is growing more rapidly than any other energy source. In 2007, over 5,000 megawatts of new wind generating capacity were installed in the United States, second only to new natural gas-fired generating capacity. Wind power has become “mainstream” in many regions of the country, and is no longer considered an “alternative” energy source.

Wind energy has become increasingly competitive with other power generation options. Wind technology ...


Grazing Fees: An Overview And Current Issues, Carol Hardy Vincent Jan 2008

Grazing Fees: An Overview And Current Issues, Carol Hardy Vincent

Congressional Research Service Reports

Charging fees for grazing private livestock on federal lands is a long-standing but contentious practice. Generally, livestock producers who use federal lands want to keep fees low, while conservation groups and others believe fees should be increased. The formula for determining the grazing fee for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service uses a base value adjusted annually by the lease rates for grazing on private lands, beef cattle prices, and the cost of livestock production. The collected fees are divided among the Treasury, states, and federal agencies. Fee reform was attempted but not adopted ...


Comparison Of The 2008 Farm Bill Conference Agreement With The House And Senate Farm Bills, Renée Johnson, Geoffrey S. Becker, Tom Capehart, Ralph M. Chite, Tadlock Cowan, Ross W. Gorte, Charles E. Hanrahan, Remy Jurenas, Jim Monke, Jean M. Rawson, Randy Schnepf, Joe Richardson, Donald J. Marples, Mark Jickling Jan 2008

Comparison Of The 2008 Farm Bill Conference Agreement With The House And Senate Farm Bills, Renée Johnson, Geoffrey S. Becker, Tom Capehart, Ralph M. Chite, Tadlock Cowan, Ross W. Gorte, Charles E. Hanrahan, Remy Jurenas, Jim Monke, Jean M. Rawson, Randy Schnepf, Joe Richardson, Donald J. Marples, Mark Jickling

Congressional Research Service Reports

In late May, both the House and the Senate voted to override a presidential veto of the conference agreement on the 2008 farm bill (H.R. 2419, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008), and the conference bill became law on May 22, 2008 (P.L. 110-234). However, an enrolling error resulted in one title of the bill (Title III, Trade) being omitted from the version that was sent to the White House, and the newly enacted law contains 14 of 15 farm bill titles. To resolve this issue, both the House and Senate passed a version of the ...


Engineered Nanoscale Materials And Derivative Products: Regulatory Challenges, Linda-Jo Schierow Jan 2008

Engineered Nanoscale Materials And Derivative Products: Regulatory Challenges, Linda-Jo Schierow

Congressional Research Service Reports

Scientists and engineers can now examine, design, and manipulate materials at the molecular level, termed “nanoscale,” between 1 and 100 billionths of a meter. The U.S. government has invested heavily to ensure that American industry remains a global leader in the field, because the products of nanotechnology are seen to have great economic potential and offer possible solutions to national problems ranging from energy efficiency to detection of agents of biological warfare. Optimism about nanotechnology is tempered, however, by concerns about the unknown potential of nanoscale materials to harm the environment and human health. Some have called for federal ...


Science, Technology, Engineering, And Mathematics (Stem) Education: Background, Federal Policy, And Legislative Action, Jeffrey J. Kuenzi Jan 2008

Science, Technology, Engineering, And Mathematics (Stem) Education: Background, Federal Policy, And Legislative Action, Jeffrey J. Kuenzi

Congressional Research Service Reports

There is growing concern that the United States is not preparing a sufficient number of students, teachers, and practitioners in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). A large majority of secondary school students fail to reach proficiency in math and science, and many are taught by teachers lacking adequate subject matter knowledge.

When compared to other nations, the math and science achievement of U.S. pupils and the rate of STEM degree attainment appear inconsistent with a nation considered the world leader in scientific innovation. In a recent international assessment of 15-year-old students, the U.S. ranked ...


The Wild And Scenic Rivers Act And Federal Water Rights, Cynthia Brougher Jan 2008

The Wild And Scenic Rivers Act And Federal Water Rights, Cynthia Brougher

Congressional Research Service Reports

During the 1960s, support grew for the idea that the development of our nation’s rivers needed to be balanced by protecting certain rivers that possessed outstanding undeveloped qualities. This sentiment culminated in the enactment of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. Rivers may be designated for protection under the act by Congress or nominated for inclusion by a Governor and approved by the Secretary of the Interior. The act addresses the protection of the water flows of designated rivers, both expressly and by implication. This report examines the purposes, language, and legislative history of the act in ...


Wilderness: Overview And Statistics, Ross W. Gorte Jan 2008

Wilderness: Overview And Statistics, Ross W. Gorte

Congressional Research Service Reports

Congress enacted the Wilderness Act in 1964. This Act created the National Wilderness Preservation System, reserved to Congress the authority to designate wilderness areas, and directed the Secretaries of Agriculture and of the Interior to review certain lands for their wilderness potential. The Act also designated 54 wilderness areas with 9 million acres of federal land. Congress began expanding the Wilderness System in 1968, and today, there are 708 wilderness areas, totaling more than 107 million acres, in 44 states. Numerous bills to designate additional areas and to expand existing ones are introduced and considered in every Congress.

The Wilderness ...


Active Military Sonar And Marine Mammals: Events And References, Eugene H. Buck, Kori Clavert Jan 2008

Active Military Sonar And Marine Mammals: Events And References, Eugene H. Buck, Kori Clavert

Congressional Research Service Reports

The deployment of active sonar by the U.S. Navy and its potential impacts on marine mammals has been an ongoing issue of intense debate; regulatory, legislative, and judicial activity; and international concern. Some peacetime use of military sonar has been regulated under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and other statutes due to concerns that active military sonars are operated at frequencies used by some cetaceans (i.e., whales, porpoises, and dolphins), and their highintensity sound pulses may travel long distances in the ocean. There is also concern that sonar transmissions of sufficiently high intensity might physically damage the ...


Alternative Fuels And Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues In Congress, Brent D. Yacobucci Jan 2008

Alternative Fuels And Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues In Congress, Brent D. Yacobucci

Congressional Research Service Reports

Alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles are seen by proponents as integral to improving urban air quality, decreasing dependence on foreign oil, and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. However, major barriers — especially economics — currently prevent the widespread use of these fuels and technologies. Because of these barriers, and the potential benefits, there is continued congressional interest in providing incentives and other support for their development and commercialization.

In the 110th Congress, alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles have received a good deal of attention, especially in discussions over U.S. energy security. In his January 24, 2007, State of the ...


Science And Technology Policymaking: A Primer, Deborah D. Stine Jan 2008

Science And Technology Policymaking: A Primer, Deborah D. Stine

Congressional Research Service Reports

Scientific and technical knowledge and guidance influences not just policy related to science and technology, but also many of today’s public policies as policymakers seek knowledge to enhance the quality of their decisions. Science and technology policy is concerned with the allocation of resources for and encouragement of scientific and engineering research and development, the use of scientific and technical knowledge to enhance the nation’s response to societal challenges, and the education of Americans in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Science and engineering research and innovations are intricately linked to societal needs and the nation’s economy in ...


Energy And Water Development: Fy2009 Appropriations, Carl E. Behrens Jan 2008

Energy And Water Development: Fy2009 Appropriations, Carl E. Behrens

Congressional Research Service Reports

The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the Department of Energy (DOE), and a number of independent agencies.

In considering the FY2009 budget, both the House and the Senate Appropriations Committees voted to report out an Energy and Water Development appropriations bill. However, neither bill reached the floor in either house. On September 24, 2008, the House passed H.R. 2638, the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009, which continued appropriations for Energy and ...


Soil And Water Conservation: An Overview, Tadlock Cowan, Renée Johnson Jan 2008

Soil And Water Conservation: An Overview, Tadlock Cowan, Renée Johnson

Congressional Research Service Reports

Soil and water conservation topics are prominent in discussions of policy options for the next farm bill, which the 110th Congress is considering. Major conservation topics include where to set overall funding levels and levels for each program; what should be the priorities for the conservation effort; and deciding whether any existing programs or activities should be modified or eliminated and whether new programs or activities should be added to the effort. Addressing these topics often pits supporters of commodity programs and the traditional farm program benefits against those who would like to see an expanded conservation effort.

The House ...