Natural Gas: Federal Approval Process for Liquefied Natural Gas Exports

Natural Gas: Federal Approval Process for Liquefied Natural Gas Exports. U.S. Government Accountability Office. Released October, 1, 2014.

Since 2010, of 35 applications it has received that require a public interest review, the Department of Energy (DOE) has approved 3 applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) and 6 applications are conditionally approved with final approval contingent on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) issuance of a satisfactory environmental review of the export facility. DOE considers a range of factors to determine whether each application is in the public interest. After the first application was conditionally approved in 2011, DOE commissioned a study to help it determine whether additional LNG exports were in the public interest. Since the 16-month study was published in December 2012, DOE issued 7 conditional approvals (one of which became final) and 1 other final approval (see fig. below). In August 2014, DOE suspended its practice of issuing conditional approvals; instead, DOE will review applications after FERC completes its environmental review. Highlights [PDF format, 1 page, 139.77 KB]. Full Text [PDF format, 31 pages, 929.16 KB].

Diploma, Please: Promoting Educational Attainment for DACA- and Potential DREAM Act-Eligible Youth

Diploma, Please: Promoting Educational Attainment for DACA- and Potential DREAM Act-Eligible Youth. Migration Policy Institute. Margie McHugh. September 2014.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is unprecedented in the scope of its educational requirements. The report provides sociodemographic snapshots of three key DACA groups, explores the challenges to their educational success, and offers recommendations for educators and other stakeholders looking to support the educational attainment of these young unauthorized immigrants. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Enhancing Capacity to Address Mental Health Needs of Veterans and Their Families: The Welcome Back Veterans Initiative

Enhancing Capacity to Address Mental Health Needs of Veterans and Their Families: The Welcome Back Veterans Initiative. RAND Corporation. September 17, 2014.

The report describes the Welcome Back Veterans Initiative, which issued grants to academic medical institutions to create and implement programs and services designed to address the mental health needs of returning veterans and their families. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 26 pages, 0.3 MB].

Neither Party Gets Good Marks from Its Base for Handling Illegal Immigration

Neither Party Gets Good Marks from Its Base for Handling Illegal Immigration. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. September 23, 2014.

As the current session of Congress comes to a close without significant action to address illegal immigration, neither Republicans nor Democrats are especially happy with the way their respective parties have dealt with the issue. Just 37% of Republicans and Republican leaners think the GOP is doing a good job representing their views on illegal immigration; 56% say they are not doing a good job. Democrats are more positive about their party’s handling of the issue. Still, about as many Democrats and Democratic leaners say the party is not doing a good job (44%) on immigration as say that it is (47%). [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 17 pages, 531.06 KB].

Integrating Migration into the Post-2015 United Nations Development Agenda

Integrating Migration into the Post-2015 United Nations Development Agenda. Migration Policy Institute. Lars Johan Lonnback. September 2014.

The Member States of the United Nations must negotiate a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) that will frame a new international development agenda to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that expire in 2015. The issue brief examines how migration can be integrated into the post-2015 development agenda, outlining proposed migration targets and elements for indicators within the SDGs. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Record Share of Americans Have Never Married

Record Share of Americans Have Never Married. Pew Research Social & Demographic Trends. Wendy Wang and Kim Parker. September 24, 2014.

After decades of declining marriage rates and changes in family structure, the share of American adults who have never been married is at an historic high. In 2012, one-in-fine adults ages 25 and older (about 42 million people) had never been married, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data. In 1960, only about one-in-ten adults (9%) in that age range had never been married. Men are more likely to have never been married (23% vs. 17% in 2012). And this gender gap has widened since 1960, when 10% of men ages 25 and older and 8% of women of the same age had never married. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 46 pages, 773.06 KB].

Child Welfare: An Overview of Federal Programs and Their Current Funding

Child Welfare: An Overview of Federal Programs and Their Current Funding. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Emilie Stoltzfus. September 16, 2014.

Child welfare services are intended to prevent the abuse or neglect of children; ensure that children have safe, permanent homes; and promote the well-being of children and their families. As the U.S. Constitution has been interpreted, states bear the primary responsibility for ensuring the welfare of children and their families. In recent years, Congress has appropriated just above or below $8 billion in federal support dedicated to child welfare purposes.

[PDF format, 37 pages, 489.24 KB].

How to Fund the Ebola Fight

How to Fund the Ebola Fight. YaleGlobal. Paula Kavathas. September 18, 2014.

Ebola is spreading quickly in West Africa and, with global air travel, could quickly hop new borders. The health infrastructure of West Africa is weak, with limited resources and trained personnel. Prevention is the goal for a virus with no approved vaccine or therapeutic. Funding is scarce, even for premier researchers with the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Nations with advanced health systems could take the lead by imposing a small tax on international air tickets, argues Paula Kavathas. A $3 tax could raise $500 million per year, funding research and development for vaccines, therapeutics or diagnostics for Ebola and other emerging infectious diseases. Infectious diseases leave behind a trail of death and economic harm, and a massive, well-funded response is in the interest of all. As Kavathas concludes, Ebola won’t be the last epidemic. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Separating Power: Friction

Separating Power: Friction. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. September 17, 2014.

Many have blamed partisan gridlock for the possibility that the 113th Congress will be deemed the least “productive” Congresses ever. Setting aside what constitutes productivity and how productivity should be measured, the President too has repeatedly cited congressional inaction in defending a series of unilateral executive actions that have only deepened existing divides between the two branches. Thus a situation has developed in which the President criticizes what he considers to be a “Do Nothing” Congress, while some Members of the House and Senate, in turn, condemn what they consider to be an “Imperial Presidency.” Although it admittedly can be difficult to distinguish institutional conflicts from political ones, the result, some would argue, has nevertheless been legislative stagnation. Was it meant to be this way?

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A Sign of Things to Come?

A Sign of Things to Come? Oxfam International. September 19, 2014.

The report identifies cases where extreme weather events exacerbated existing unfavorable conditions, and considers the roles of governance in state and non-state responses to each emergency. The relevance of climate change is also discussed, through an examination of scientific evidence about the influence of human emissions on extreme weather events, and explorative scenario analysis to consider the potential impacts of increased extreme weather severity on food security. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 44 pages, 1.0 MB].