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U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves (with data for 2013)

December 5, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves
Source: Energy Information Administration

Highlights

  • U.S. proved reserves of crude oil and lease condensate increased for the fifth year in a row in 2013, and exceeded 36 billion barrels for the first time since 1975.
  • A sharp increase in proved natural gas reserves in 2013 more than offset the significant decline experienced in 2012, and set a new record2 (354 trillion cubic feet) for U.S. natural gas proved reserves.
  • An increase in natural gas prices used to characterize existing economic conditions contributed to the reported 2013 increase in proved natural gas reserves. For example, the 12-month, first-of-the-month average spot natural gas price at the Henry Hub increased from $2.75 per million Btu (MMbtu) in 2012 to $3.66 per MMBtu in 2013. Proved natural gas reserves had declined between 2011 and 2012 as the gas price declined (e.g., the 12-month, first-of-the-month average spot natural gas price at the Henry Hub decreased from $4.15 per MMBtu in 2011 to $2.75 per MMBtu in 2012).
  • North Dakota’s crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves surpassed those of the Federal Gulf of Mexico, ranking it second only to Texas among U.S. states.
  • The Bakken/Three Forks play (covering portions of North Dakota, Montana, and South Dakota) regained its position as the largest tight oil play in the United States.
  • Pennsylvania and West Virginia account for 70% of the increase in natural gas proved reserves.
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The Employment Situation — November 2014

December 5, 2014 Comments off

The Employment Situation — November 2014
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 321,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains were widespread, led by growth in professional and business services, retail trade, health care, and manufacturing.

Census Bureau Releases Industry Series Report on Accommodation and Food Services Sector

December 5, 2014 Comments off

Census Bureau Releases Industry Series Report on Accommodation and Food Services Sector
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau today released additional national-level data from the 2012 Economic Census Industry Series reports for the accommodation and food services sector of the economy. This release includes new statistics on the nation’s 63,896 accommodation businesses (NAICS 721), which reported sales of $195.4 billion and employed nearly 2.0 million people in 2012.

USPS OIG — Semiannual Report to Congress: April 1 — September 30, 2014

December 5, 2014 Comments off

Semiannual Report to Congress: April 1 — September 30, 2014 (PDF)
Source: U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) – together with the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, Congress, and Postal Service management – plays a key role in maintaining the integrity and accountability of the U.S. Postal Service, its revenue and assets, and its employees through our audit and investigative work.

OIG efforts have resulted in significant savings opportunities and improved efficiencies. The financial impact from our workers’ compensation fraud cases alone more than covers the OIG’s budget. When all of our investigative work and audit and research efforts are taken into account, we are providing strong value to stakeholders as we fulfill our mission of promoting integrity and accountability.

During the 6-month report period ending September 30, 2014, we issued 100 audit reports, management advisories, PARIS risk models and white papers, and the Postal Service accepted 87 percent of our significant recommendations. We completed 2,082 investigations that led to 335 arrests and nearly $573 million in fines, restitutions, and recoveries, $52 million of which went to the Postal Service.

No True Bill: A Grand Jury’s Refusal to Indict, CRS Legal Sidebar (November 26, 2014)

December 4, 2014 Comments off

No True Bill: A Grand Jury’s Refusal to Indict, CRS Legal Sidebar (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Grand jury indictment is a constitutional right in federal felony cases. It is an alternative means of prosecution in many states. In either system, the grand jury is the people’s panel. It stands as a group of randomly-selected members of the community, strategically placed “as a kind of buffer or referee between the Government and the people.” It serves the “twin historical responsibilities [of] bringing to trial those who may be justly accused and shielding the innocent from unfounded accusation and prosecution.” If the grand jury agrees that the evidence before it warrants indictment, it may indict and the accused may be brought to trial. If the grand jury does not agree and refuses to indict, an accused may not be brought to trial under indictment. Yet, the prosecutor’s role before the grand jury can have a significant impact.

Department of Defense Report to the President of the United States on Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (released to the public November 14, 2014)

December 4, 2014 Comments off

Department of Defense Report to the President of the United States on Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

In December 2013, President Barack Obama directed the Department of Defense to prepare a comprehensive report detailing major improvements in the prevention of and response to sexual assault in the military, including reforms to the military justice system. In response, the Department prepared a report detailing its proactive and comprehensive approach, issued in November 2014. Find the Report, its appendices, enclosures and annexes below as individual documents for convenient access.

FDA finalizes menu and vending machine calorie labeling rules

December 4, 2014 Comments off

FDA finalizes menu and vending machine calorie labeling rules
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today finalized two rules requiring that calorie information be listed on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants, similar retail food establishments and vending machines with 20 or more locations to provide consumers with more nutritional information about the foods they eat outside of the home. The rules are required by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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