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Oil and gas leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has been an important issue in the debate over energy security and domestic energy resources. The Department of the Interior (DOI) released a comprehensive inventory of OCS resources in February 2006 that estimated reserves of 8.5 billion barrels of oil and 29.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Congress has imposed moratoria of the OCS since 1982 through the annual Interior appropriation bills. Proponents of the moratoria contend that offshore drilling would pose unacceptable environmental risks and threaten coastal tourism industries. This report analyzes this issue in-depth, including budgetary information and relevant legislation.
Over the past year, crude oil prices have nearly doubled, reaching record levels. Proposals before Congress include a number of legislative initiatives to increase domestic oil production. These proposals have fallen into two broad categories: (1) to open areas of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) which are currently under leasing moratoria; and (2) to encourage companies holding oil and gas leases to diligently develop leases to bring them into production. Proponents of these initiatives argue that promising areas should be open for exploration to maximize domestic oil production as quickly as possible. However, there are long lead times and often numerous considerations and constraints in getting federal oil and gas leases from the lease sale into production. Many leases never get explored before their primary lease term expires.
This report includes a glossary of approximately 2,500 agriculture and related terms (e.g., food programs, conservation, forestry, environmental protection, etc.). Besides defining terms and phrases with specialized meanings for agriculture, the glossary also identifies acronyms, agencies, programs, and laws related to agriculture.
On August 2, 2005, President Bush signed into law the bill to implement the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement, or DR-CAFTA (P.L. 109-53, H.R. 3045). In DR-CAFTA, the United States and six countries will completely phase out tariffs and quotas — the primary means of border protection — on all but four agricultural commodities traded between them in stages up to 20 years. The four exempted products are as follows: for the United States, sugar; for Costa Rica, fresh onions and fresh potatoes; and for the four other Central American countries, white corn. DR-CAFTA’s provisions, once fully implemented, are expected to result in trade gains, though small, for the U.S. agricultural sector. This report describes this agreement in detail, as well as the stances of both supporters and detractors.
In an effort to collect scientifically credible data regarding the effect of animal agriculture on water resources (specifically animal waste and emissions from animal feeding operations (AFO), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in January 2005 announced the Air Compliance Agreement. The agreement is intended to produce air quality monitoring data on AFO emissions during a two-year study, while at the same time protecting participants through a “safe harbor” from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws.
Agriculture (as measured by share of gross domestic product and employment) is a significant economic sector in seven Central and South Asian countries: Afghanistan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. All of these countries are net food importers. Some have experienced successive years of drought, which has contributed to noticeable declines in agricultural output and the need to increase commodity imports. The United Nations’ World Food Program reports that both Afghanistan and Tajikistan are currently in need of emergency food assistance to cover sizable food deficits. The food outlook in Afghanistan is made uncertain by ongoing military conflict.
Oil and gas leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has been an important issue in the debate over energy security and domestic energy resources. The Department of the Interior (DOI) released a comprehensive inventory of OCS resources in February 2006 that estimated reserves of 8.5 billion barrels of oil and 29.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Congress has imposed moratoria of the OCS since 1982 through the annual Interior appropriation bills. Proponents of the moratoria contend that offshore drilling would pose unacceptable environmental risks and threaten coastal tourism industries. This report analyzes this issue in-depth, including budgetary information and relevant legislation.
This report provides background on the linkage between U.S. agriculture and the UMR-IWW navigation system. In addition, it explores several of the key issues and uncertainties behind evolving trade patterns and projections for future agricultural freight traffic on the UMR-IWW navigation system.
The federal government has a long history of providing credit assistance to farmers by issuing direct loans and guarantees, and creating rural lending institutions. These institutions include the Farm Credit System (FCS), which is a network of borrower-owned lending institutions operating as a government-sponsored enterprise, and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which makes or guarantees loans to farmers who cannot qualify at other lenders. When loans cannot be repaid, special bankruptcy provisions help family farmers reorganize debts and continue farming (P.L. 109-8 made Chapter 12 permanent and expanded eligibility). S. 238 and H.R. 399 (the Rural Economic Investment Act) would exempt commercial banks from paying taxes on profits from farm real estate loans, thus providing similar benefits a...
In an effort to collect scientifically credible data regarding the effect of animal agriculture on water resources (specifically animal waste and emissons from animal feeding operations (AFO), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in January 2005 announced the Air Compliance Agreement. The agreement is intended to produce air quality monitoring data on AFO emissions during a two-year study, while at the same time protecting participants through a “safe harbor” from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws. This report discusses the agreement and the perspectives of both its supporters and opponents.
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