Natural resources (111 - 120 of 305 items)
Oil and Gas Leasing: Interior Could Do More to Encourage Diligent Development
GAO-09-74: Published: Oct 3, 2008. Publicly Released: Nov 3, 2008.
In 2007, the Department of the Interior (Interior) collected about $10.5 billion in revenues from companies that hold federal oil and gas leases. Interior's Minerals Management Service manages offshore leases, while its Bureau of Land Management manages onshore leases and leases in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. Acquiring a federal lease gives the lessee the rights to explore for and de...
Electricity Restructuring: FERC Could Take Additional Steps to Analyze Regional Transmission Organizations' Benefits and Performance
GAO-08-987: Published: Sep 22, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2008.
In 1999, as a part of federal efforts to restructure the electricity industry, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) began encouraging the voluntary formation of Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO)--independent entities to manage regional networks of electric transmission lines. FERC oversees six RTOs that cover part or all of 35 states and D.C. and serve over half of U.S. electric...
Nuclear Waste: Action Needed to Improve Accountability and Management of DOE's Major Cleanup Projects
GAO-08-1081: Published: Sep 26, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2008.
The Department of Energy (DOE) spends billions of dollars annually to clean up nuclear wastes at sites that produced nuclear weapons. Cleanup projects decontaminate and demolish buildings, remove and dispose of contaminated soil, treat contaminated groundwater, and stabilize and dispose of solid and liquid radioactive wastes. Ten of these projects meet or nearly meet DOE's definition of major: cos...
Oil and Gas Royalties: The Federal System for Collecting Oil and Gas Revenues Needs Comprehensive Reassessment
GAO-08-691: Published: Sep 3, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 12, 2008.
In fiscal year 2007, domestic and foreign companies received over $75 billion from the sale of oil and gas produced from federal lands and waters, according to the Department of the Interior (Interior), and these companies paid the federal government about $9 billion in royalties for this oil and gas production. The government also collects other revenues in rents, taxes, and other fees, and the s...
Department of Energy: New Loan Guarantee Program Should Complete Activities Necessary for Effective and Accountable Program Management
GAO-08-750: Published: Jul 7, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2008.
Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 established DOE's loan guarantee program (LGP) for innovative energy projects that should decrease air pollutants or greenhouse gases and that have a reasonable prospect of repayment. For fiscal years 2008 and 2009, Congress authorized the use of borrower fees to pay the costs of loan guarantees through Title XVII's "borrower pays" option, under which DO...
Nuclear Safety: NRC's Oversight of Fire Protection at U.S. Commercial Nuclear Reactor Units Could Be Strengthened
GAO-08-747: Published: Jun 30, 2008. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2008.
After a 1975 fire at the Browns Ferry nuclear plant in Alabama threatened the unit's ability to shut down safely, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued prescriptive fire safety rules for commercial nuclear units. However, nuclear units with different designs and different ages have had difficulty meeting these rules and have sought exemptions to them. In 2004, NRC began to encourage the n...
Nuclear Waste: DOE Lacks Critical Information Needed to Assess Its Tank Management Strategy at Hanford
GAO-08-793: Published: Jun 30, 2008. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2008.
The Department of Energy (DOE) manages more than 56 million gallons of radioactive and hazardous waste stored in 149 single-shell and 28 double-shell underground tanks at its Hanford Site in Washington State. Many of these aging tanks have already leaked waste into the soil. Meanwhile, DOE's planned process for emptying the tanks and treating the waste--mixing it with molten glass and solidifying...
Utility Oversight: Recent Changes in Law Call for Improved Vigilance by FERC
GAO-08-289: Published: Feb 25, 2008. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 2008.
Under the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA 1935) and other laws, federal agencies and state commissions have traditionally regulated utilities to protect consumers from supply disruptions and unfair pricing. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) repealed PUHCA 1935, removing some limitations on the companies that could merge with or invest in utilities, leaving the Federal Energy...
Hydrogen Fuel Initiative: DOE Has Made Important Progress and Involved Stakeholders but Needs to Update What It Expects to Achieve by Its 2015 Target
GAO-08-305: Published: Jan 11, 2008. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 2008.
The United States consumes more than 20 million barrels of oil each day, two-thirds of which is imported, leaving the nation vulnerable to rising prices. Oil combustion produces emissions linked to health problems and global warming. In January 2003, the administration announced a 5-year, $1.2 billion Hydrogen Fuel Initiative to perform research, development, and demonstration (R&D) for developing...
Department of Energy: Oil and Natural Gas Research and Development Activities
GAO-08-190R: Published: Nov 6, 2007. Publicly Released: Nov 16, 2007.
Domestic oil and natural gas production are important to meeting our nation's energy needs and represented more than 40 percent of the U.S. energy production in 2006. The Department of Energy (DOE) has undertaken research and development (R&D) for oil and natural gas since its inception in the late 1970s. Historically, the federal government has entered into cost-sharing agreements with universiti...