Natural resources (121 - 130 of 496 items)
Oil and Gas Management: Interior's Oil and Gas Production Verification Efforts Do Not Provide Reasonable Assurance of Accurate Measurement of Production Volumes
GAO-10-313: Published: Mar 15, 2010. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 2010.
Oil and natural gas produced from federal leases generated over $6.5 billion in royalties in 2009. To verify that royalties are paid on the correct volumes of oil and gas, the Department of the Interior (Interior) verifies the quantity and quality of oil and gas, both onshore, through the Bureau of Land Management, and offshore, through the Offshore Energy and Minerals Management Service. This rep...
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Additional Guidance Would Help Strengthen the Minerals Management Service's Assessment of Environmental Impacts in the North Aleutian Basin
GAO-10-276: Published: Mar 8, 2010. Publicly Released: Apr 7, 2010.
Interest has re-emerged in developing oil and gas in the nation's offshore areas, such as the North Aleutian Basin. Located on the outer continental shelf (OCS) where the Aleutian Islands meet the Alaskan mainland around Bristol Bay, the basin may contain sizable oil and gas deposits, although the area's environmental and cultural sensitivity has made oil and gas development in the area controvers...
Climate Change: Preliminary Observations on Geoengineering Science, Federal Efforts, and Governance Issues
GAO-10-546T: Published: Mar 18, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 18, 2010.
Key scientific assessments have underscored the urgency of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide to help mitigate potentially negative effects of climate change; however, many countries with significant greenhouse gas emissions, including the United States, China, and India, have not committed to binding limits on emissions to date, and carbon dioxide levels continue to rise. Recently, some policym...
Update on the Status of the Merchantable Timber Contracting Pilot Program
GAO-10-379R: Published: Mar 4, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 2010.
Counties containing federal lands have historically received a percentage of the receipts generated by the sale or use of natural resources on the federal lands. A steep decline in federal timber sales during the 1990s, however, resulted in a significant decrease in federal payments to counties that previously depended on timber receipts. The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination A...
Oil and Gas Bonds: Bonding Requirements and BLM Expenditures to Reclaim Orphaned Wells
GAO-10-245: Published: Jan 27, 2010. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2010.
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 directs the Department of the Interior (Interior) to manage lands for multiple uses while also taking any action to prevent "unnecessary or undue degradation" of the land. To do this, Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM), among other things, requires oil and gas operators to reclaim the land they disturb and post a bond to help ensure they d...
Rural Water Infrastructure: Improved Coordination and Funding Processes Could Enhance Federal Efforts to Meet Needs in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region
GAO-10-126: Published: Dec 18, 2009. Publicly Released: Jan 19, 2010.
A serious problem for U.S. communities along the U.S.-Mexico border is the lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation systems. Inadequate systems can pose risks to human health and the environment, including the risk of waterborne diseases. Numerous federal programs provide grants, loans, or other assistance to rural U.S. communities, including those in the border region, for drinking wa...
Valles Caldera: The Trust Has Made Progress but Faces Significant Challenges to Achieve Goals of the Preservation Act
GAO-10-84: Published: Oct 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 2009.
In creating the Valles Caldera National Preserve from a unique parcel of land in north-central New Mexico, and by creating the Valles Caldera Trust as a wholly owned government corporation to manage the preserve, the Valles Caldera Preservation Act of 2000 established a 20-year public-private experiment to operate the preserve without continued federal funding. The Trust is charged with achieving...
Wildland Fire Management: Federal Agencies Have Taken Important Steps Forward, but Additional, Strategic Action is Needed to Capitalize on Those Steps
GAO-09-877: Published: Sep 9, 2009. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 2009.
The nation's wildland fire problems have worsened dramatically over the past decade, with more than a doubling of average annual acreage burned and federal appropriations for wildland fire management. The deteriorating fire situation has led the agencies responsible for managing wildland fires on federal lands--the Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture and four agencies in the Department...
Superfund: Litigation Has Decreased and EPA Needs Better Information on Site Cleanup and Cost Issues to Estimate Future Program Funding Requirements
GAO-09-656: Published: Jul 15, 2009. Publicly Released: Aug 14, 2009.
Under the Superfund program, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) places the most seriously contaminated sites on the National Priorities List (NPL). EPA may compel site cleanups by parties responsible for contamination, or conduct cleanups itself and have these parties reimburse its costs. The program is funded by a trust fund, which is largely supported by general fund appropriations. GAO w...
Federal Lands: Enhanced Planning Could Assist Agencies in Managing Increased Use of Off-Highway Vehicles
GAO-09-509: Published: Jun 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2009.
Off-highway vehicle (OHV) use on lands managed by the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Park Service (Park Service) has become popular over the past few decades. Some critics have asserted that OHV use causes adverse environmental, social, and safety impacts, while proponents have voiced concerns about retai...