U.S. Government Accountability Office. April 10, 2013.
STEM education programs help to enhance the nation’s global competitiveness. Many federal agencies have been involved in administering these programs. Concerns have been raised about the overall effectiveness and efficiency of STEM education programs. This testimony discusses (1) the number of federal agencies and programs that provided funding for STEM education programs in fiscal year 2010; (2) the extent to which STEM education programs overlap; and (3) the extent to which STEM education programs measured effectiveness and were aligned to a governmentwide strategy.
http://gao.gov/assets/660/653661.pdf [PDF format, 21 pages].
Natural Resources Defense Council. April 2013.
Improving the energy efficiency of our manufacturing facilities, buildings, and homes can help us meet our energy challenges affordably. It can save consumers money on their energy bills, drive business competitiveness and economic growth and jobs, enhance grid reliability and flexibility, and help protect public health and the environment. Combined heat and power (CHP) systems are strong examples of how energy-efficiency technologies can help achieve these significant benefits for end-user facilities, utilities, and communities. As the case studies featured in this report illustrate, CHP systems are extremely versatile and can be used in a spectrum of industries and facilities, including advanced manufacturing, chemical production, food processing, primary metals, data centers, hotels, multifamily housing, district energy, health care, landfills, and farms. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.nrdc.org/energy/files/combined-heat-power-IP.pdf [PDF format, 33 pages].
Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. April 3, 2013.
A decade after the George W. Bush Administration announced FutureGen—its signature clean coal power initiative—the program is still in early development. Since its inception in 2003, FutureGen has undergone changes in scope and design. As initially conceived, FutureGen would have been the world’s first coal-fired power plant to integrate carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) with integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technologies. A proposed rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit CO2 emissions from new fossil-fuel power plants may provide some incentive for industry to invest in CCS technology. Alternatively, critics of the proposed rule have expressed concern over the loss of American competitiveness in a global market not subject to similar regulations. These critics point to China’s increasing CO2 emissions and argue that Chinese industries will surpass American industries in productive competitiveness and that this will lead to American companies outsourcing jobs and production. Delays in FutureGen’s project development may have made full-scale demonstration of CCS technology by 2015–the year that federal stimulus funding for FutureGen expires–difficult to accomplish.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43028.pdf [PDF format, 15 pages].
Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. February 11, 2013.
This report is designed to inform the debate over the health of U.S. manufacturing through a series of charts and tables that depict the position of the U.S. relative to other countries according to various metrics. Understanding which trends in manufacturing reflect factors that may be unique to the U.S. and which are related to broader changes in technology or consumer preferences may be helpful in formulating policies intended to aid firms or workers engaged in manufacturing activity.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42135.pdf [PDF format, 22 pages].
Office of the United States Trade Representative. Executive Office of the President. February 13, 2013.
In his State of the Union address on February 12, 2013, the President announced that the Administration plans to notify Congress of its intent to launch negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union (EU). The President’s decision recognizes that the U.S.-EU economic relationship is already the world’s largest, accounting for one third of total goods and services trade and nearly half of global economic output. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is envisioned as an ambitious, high-standard trade and investment agreement that would provide significant benefit in terms of promoting U.S. international competitiveness, jobs, and growth.