Some of the best backgrounders on the issues covered by environmental and energy journalists are produced by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. Taxpayers foot the bill for these research and factual compilations by scholarly experts. Congress members receive them and cite them. They make Congress members look smart. Unfortunately, Congress does not publish them so that taxpayers and journalists can benefit.
The pending April 2011 retirement of CRS Director Daniel P. Mulhollan may be an occasion for the reconsideration of this policy.
- "CRS Director’s Retirement Renews Old Questions," Secrecy News, Federation of American Scientists, Jan. 24, 2011, by Steven Aftergood.
Fortunately, however, the Federation of American Scientists, a nonprofit watchdog group, does publish the reports, most of which promptly leak. Following are links to some recent CRS reports that may be of interest to energy and environmental journalists.
- "Implications of Egypt’s Turmoil on Global Oil and Natural Gas Supply," Congressional Research Service, Feb. 11, 2011, by Michael Ratner.
- "Israel’s Offshore Natural Gas Discoveries Enhance Its Economic and Energy Outlook," Congressional Research Service, Jan. 31, 2011, by Michael Ratner.
- "Global Natural Gas: A Growing Resource," Congressional Research Service, Dec. 22, 2010, by Michael Ratner.
- "Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?" Congressional Research Service, Jan. 25, 2011, by Kelsi Bracmort.
- "Nanotechnology and Environmental, Health, and Safety: Issues for Consideration," Congressional Research Service, Jan. 20, 2011, by John F. Sargent Jr.
- "Keeping America’s Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress," Congressional Research Service," Dec. 13, 2010, by Paul W. Parfomak.
- "Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: The Fate of the Oil," Congressional Research Service, Dec. 16, 2010, by Jonathan L. Ramseur.
- "Neglected Tropical Diseases: Background, Responses, and Issues for Congress," Congressional Research Service, Jan. 21, 2011, by Tiaji Salaam-Blyther.
- "Reorganization of the Minerals Management Service in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill," Congressional Research Service, Nov. 10, 2010, by Henry B. Hogue.
- "Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress," Congressional Research Service, Dec. 23, 2010, by Dana A. Shea.