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 Year: 2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Estimates of Carbon Mitigation Potential from Agricultural and Forestry Activities

Estimates of Carbon Mitigation Potential from Agricultural and Forestry Activities

Date: February 20, 2009
Creator: Johnson, Renee
Description: The report is organized into three parts. The first provides a brief overview of the role of the agriculture and forestry sectors within the broader climate change debate, describing available estimates of current GHG emissions and carbon sequestration in the farm and forestry sectors. The second describes available data and information on the potential for carbon storage (tonnage) by type of farming and forestry activity, and presents available estimates of the carbon sequestration potential in these sectors. The final part discusses some of the limitations of available estimates of GHG mitigation potential in the agriculture and forestry sectors, focusing on recent policy and market changes and other types of modeling uncertainties that could limit the accuracy of available mitigation projections.
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Carbon Tax and Greenhouse Gas Control: Options and Considerations for Congress

Carbon Tax and Greenhouse Gas Control: Options and Considerations for Congress

Date: March 10, 2009
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: This report begins with an overview of the fundamental choices involved between a cost (tax) and a quantity (cap) control instrument. This includes a discussion of policy tools that could be employed to bridge the gap between a carbon tax and a cap-and-trade program. Following this overview, the report analyzes the potential advantages and disadvantages of a carbon tax. In many cases, carbon tax attributes are compared with those of a cap-and-trade program. The next section discusses implementation issues for a carbon tax, including where to apply the tax, at what level to set the tax, and options for distributing the tax revenues. The final section provides conclusions.
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Climate Change: Current Issues and Policy Tools

Climate Change: Current Issues and Policy Tools

Date: March 6, 2009
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Description: This report introduces the reader to fundamentals of the climate change issue. Part One summarizes current understandings and controversies concerning the science, economics, international cooperation, and other aspects of the climate change policy problem. Part Two is a brief update on the status of domestic and international policies. Part Three outlines the policy toolbox seen as being available to policymakers to address the challenge as they define the emerging legislative agenda.
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Biochar: Examination of an Emerging Concept to Mitigate Climate Change

Biochar: Examination of an Emerging Concept to Mitigate Climate Change

Date: February 3, 2009
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi S.
Description: This report briefly describes biochar, its potential advantages and disadvantages, legislative support, and research and development activities underway in the United States and abroad.
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California's Waiver Request Under the Clear Air Act to Control Greenhouse Gases From Motor Vehicles

California's Waiver Request Under the Clear Air Act to Control Greenhouse Gases From Motor Vehicles

Date: February 10, 2009
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Description: This report reviews the nature of EPA's, California's, and other states' authority to regulate emissions from mobile sources, the applicability of that authority to GHGs, and issues related to the California waiver request.
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Clean Air After the CAIR Decision: Back to Square One?

Clean Air After the CAIR Decision: Back to Square One?

Date: February 9, 2009
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Description: This report discusses the potential impact on communities attempting to achieve National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and the impact on mercury emissions could be substantial, and has prompted some to call for congressional action to address the issue.
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Capturing CO2 from Coal-Fired Power Plants: Challenges for a Comprehensive Strategy

Capturing CO2 from Coal-Fired Power Plants: Challenges for a Comprehensive Strategy

Date: February 13, 2009
Creator: Parker, Larry
Description: This report examines the current effort to develop technology that would capture CO2. First, the paper outlines the current status of carbon capture technology. Second, the paper examines the role of government in developing that technology, both in terms of creating a market for carbon capture technology and encouraging development of the technology. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion of implications of capture technology for climate change legislation.
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Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships

Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships

Date: February 24, 2009
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Description: This report provides information regarding pollution from ships and port facilities; discusses some of the measures being implemented and considered by local, state, and federal regulatory agencies; discusses the efforts to ratify and to strengthen Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL); and describes legislation in Congress to control emissions from ships by amending the Clean Air Act (CAA).
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Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Critical Barriers and Congressional Policy

Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Critical Barriers and Congressional Policy

Date: June 24, 2009
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.; Sissine, Fred & Fischer, Eric A.
Description: Federal policymakers are debating a range of potential initiatives for reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from U.S. energy sources. An overarching policy issue which arises from carbon control proposals is how the CO2 reduction targets could be achieved. One method that has garnered significant attention is increasing the electricity efficiency in buildings. Analysts have identified a number of critical socioeconomic and policy barriers which have historically limited the impact of federal and state building efficiency programs. This report describes those barriers, the degree to which federal law has addressed them, and their implications for meeting future U.S. carbon reduction targets.
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Calculation of Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the Renewable Fuel Standard

Calculation of Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the Renewable Fuel Standard

Date: June 25, 2009
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D. & Bracmort, Kelsi S.
Description: The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) significantly expanded the renewable fuel standard (RFS) established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. EISA requires an increasing amount of the 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022 mandate be met with "advanced biofuels." This report defines the classification "biofuels," discusses the ongoing debate regarding several aspects of biofuels endeavors, and discusses related legislative efforts on climate change policy and low-carbon fuel standards.
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