Natural resources (41 - 50 of 305 items)
Climate Change: Energy Infrastructure Risks and Adaptation Efforts
GAO-14-74: Published: Jan 31, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 2014.
According to assessments by the National Research Council (NRC) and the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), U.S. energy infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to a range of climate change impacts--particularly infrastructure in areas prone to severe weather and water shortages. Climate changes are projected to affect infrastructure throughout all major stages of the energy supply chai...
Oil and Gas: Interior Has Begun to Address Hiring and Retention Challenges but Needs to Do More
GAO-14-205: Published: Jan 31, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 19, 2014.
The Department of the Interior (Interior) continues to face challenges hiring and retaining staff with key skills needed to manage and oversee oil and gas operations on federal leases. Interior officials noted two major factors that contribute to challenges in hiring and retaining staff: lower salaries and a slow hiring process compared with similar positions in industry. In response to GAO's surv...
Coal Leasing: BLM Could Enhance Appraisal Process, More Explicitly Consider Coal Exports, and Provide More Public Information
GAO-14-140: Published: Dec 18, 2013. Publicly Released: Feb 4, 2014.
Since January 1990, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has leased 107 coal tracts, and associated coal production and revenues have grown. Most lease sales have had a single bidder and were leased the first time offered. The amount of coal produced from federal leases and associated revenues have increased since 1990, although production has leveled off since 2002. Revenues from federal coal leas...
Oil And Gas Resources: Actions Needed for Interior to Better Ensure a Fair Return
GAO-14-50: Published: Dec 6, 2013. Publicly Released: Dec 17, 2013.
Interior has taken some steps intended to help ensure a fair return on federal oil and gas resources but does not have documented procedures for periodically conducting assessments of the fiscal system. Specifically, Interior has taken the following steps:Changed offshore lease terms and considered but has not changed onshore lease terms. Interior changed certain offshore lease terms-- including r...
Modernizing the Nuclear Security Enterprise: NNSA's Budget Estimates Do Not Fully Align with Plans
GAO-14-45: Published: Dec 11, 2013. Publicly Released: Dec 11, 2013.
The National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) total budget estimates for modernizing the nuclear security enterprise for fiscal years 2014 through 2031 have increased by about $19 billion overall when compared with the estimates in the agency's fiscal year 2012 budget materials, with most of the increase occurring in fiscal year 2019 and beyond. Factors such as sequestration, the achievabi...
National Laboratories: DOE Needs to Improve Oversight of Work Performed for Non-DOE Entities
GAO-14-78: Published: Oct 25, 2013. Publicly Released: Nov 25, 2013.
In fiscal years 2008 through 2012, the Department of Energy (DOE) performed about $2 billion annually of Work for Others (WFO) projects, as measured by the costs incurred. Although the amount of WFO performed has remained relatively constant over the last 5 years overall, WFO as a percentage of the total work performed at the laboratories--measured in total laboratory costs incurred--has declined...
Nuclear Weapons: Information on Safety Concerns with the Uranium Processing Facility
GAO-14-79R: Published: Oct 25, 2013. Publicly Released: Oct 25, 2013.
The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (Safety Board) has raised concerns with the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) plans to construct the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF), and NNSA has taken steps to address many of these concerns. Specifically:In 2009, NNSA--a separately organized agency within the Department of Energy (DOE)--decided to expedite the construction of the UPF...
Managing Critical Isotopes: Stewardship of Lithium-7 Is Needed to Ensure a Stable Supply
GAO-13-716: Published: Sep 19, 2013. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 2013.
Little is known about lithium-7 production in China and Russia and whether their supplies can meet future domestic demand. According to industry representatives, China and Russia produce enough lithium-7 to meet demand from U.S. pressurized water reactors, a type of commercial nuclear power reactor that requires lithium-7 for safe operation. However, China's continued supply may be reduced by its...
Nuclear Power: Analysis of Regional Differences and Improved Access to Information Could Strengthen NRC Oversight
GAO-13-743: Published: Sep 27, 2013. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 2013.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) relies on its staff's professional judgment in implementing its processes for overseeing the safety of U.S. commercial nuclear power reactors. In implementing this oversight, NRC allocates specific roles and responsibilities to resident inspectors assigned to each plant, regional officials at one of four regional offices responsible for most oversight activi...
Oil and Gas Development: BLM Needs Better Data to Track Permit Processing Times and Prioritize Inspections
GAO-13-572: Published: Aug 23, 2013. Publicly Released: Sep 23, 2013.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) data indicate that BLM received about half as many applications for permit to drill (APD) for federal oil and gas resources in fiscal year 2012 as it had in fiscal year 2007. The decline in APDs since 2007 was driven by declines in natural gas and coalbed methane APDs on federal lands even while oil development on federal lands increased significantly. The reasons B...