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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Measuring and Monitoring Carbon in the Agricultural and Forestry Sectors

Measuring and Monitoring Carbon in the Agricultural and Forestry Sectors

Date: October 6, 2008
Creator: Gorte, Ross W. & Johnson, Renée
Description: Proposals to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases often include the use of forestry and agricultural practices and lands for carbon sequestration. However, uncertainty about the accuracy of measuring carbon from these activities has led some to question this potential. Basic approaches for measuring forest and agricultural carbon include on-site measurement; indirect measurement from off-site tools; and estimation using models or inferences. Because of challenges associated with balancing the cost and accuracy of these measurement tools, any practicable system for measuring forest and agricultural carbon might require a mix of these approaches.
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Are Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rising More Rapidly Than Expected?

Are Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rising More Rapidly Than Expected?

Date: October 17, 2008
Creator: Leggett, Jane A. & Logan, Jeffrey
Description: At least one recent report and numerous news articles suggest that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are rising more rapidly than expected. While CO2 emissions associated with human activities continue to rise -- and may be worthy of alarm because of their influence on climate change -- any short-term comparisons between actual emissions and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios miss the mark. This report analyzes this issue and the issues associated with IPCC scenarios and trajectories. It also describes the importance of monitoring CO2 emissions and analyzing the factors and forces behind increasing CO2 emissions.
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Are Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rising More Rapidly Than Expected?

Are Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rising More Rapidly Than Expected?

Date: October 17, 2008
Creator: Leggett, Jane A. & Logan, Jeffrey
Description: This report discusses the recent emissions estimates with the greenhouse gas (GHG) and addresses the question, are carbon dioxide emissions rising more rapidly than expected?
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The World Bank's Clean Technology Fund (CTF)

The World Bank's Clean Technology Fund (CTF)

Date: November 24, 2008
Creator: Weiss, Martin A. & Logan, Jeffrey
Description: The United States Treasury has led efforts to create a $10 billion Clean Technology Fund (CTF), located at the World Bank, to help fund deployment of clean technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing economies. The Bush administration has asked Congress to authorize and appropriate U.S. funding of $2 billion over three years (FY2009 to FY2011). While many Members of Congress have expressed support for the CTF, others have raised concerns, primarily with respect to whether the CTF should finance carbon-based energy projects. To date, Congress has not passed legislation authorizing or appropriating U.S. contributions to the Fund.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Global Climate Change: Three Policy Perspectives

Global Climate Change: Three Policy Perspectives

Date: November 26, 2008
Creator: Parker, Larry & Blodgett, John
Description: The 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change requires that signatories, including the United States, establish policies for constraining future emission levels of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2). The George H. W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush Administrations each drafted action plans in response to requirements of the convention. These plans have raised significant controversy and debate. This report examines three starting points from which a U.S. response to the convention is being framed.
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Clean Air Issues in the 111th Congress

Clean Air Issues in the 111th Congress

Date: January 16, 2009
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Description: This report provides a brief overview on the issue of climate change as well as other Clean Air Act issues of interest to the 111th Congress.
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Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA’s Air Compliance Agreement

Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA’s Air Compliance Agreement

Date: January 21, 2009
Creator: unknown
Description: This report discusses a plan announced by EPA in January 2005, called the Air Compliance Agreement, intended to produce air quality monitoring data on animal agriculture emissions from a small number of farms, while at the same time protecting all participants (including farms where no monitoring takes place) through a “safe harbor” from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws.
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Underground Carbon Dioxide Sequestration: Frequently Asked Questions

Underground Carbon Dioxide Sequestration: Frequently Asked Questions

Date: January 21, 2009
Creator: Folger, Peter
Description: This report answers frequently asked questions about the geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2). The questions are broadly representative of typical inquiries regarding the process and mechanics of storing CO2 underground, how much might be stored, and what might happen to CO2 once it is injected underground.
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Automobile and Light Truck Fuel Economy: The CAFE Standards

Automobile and Light Truck Fuel Economy: The CAFE Standards

Date: January 27, 2009
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D. & Bamberger, Robert
Description: This report discusses the current corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard, and the major issues on the CAFE debate. The report also offers an overview of Congressional interest in CAFE (1991-2005), and explains the CAFE and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
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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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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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.; Parker, Larry & Meltz, Robert
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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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. & Meltz, Robert
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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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; Stine, Deborah D. & Folger, Peter
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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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; Stine, Deborah D. & Folger, Peter
Description: This report examines the current effort to develop technology that would capture CO2 (carbon dioxide). It outlines the current status of carbon capture technology; 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; and concludes with a discussion of implications of capture technology for climate change legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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; Gorte, Ross W.; Yacobucci, Brent D. & Schnepf, Randy
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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; Gorte, Ross W.; Yacobucci, Brent D. & Schnepf, Randy
Description: This report presents a brief overview of the available estimates from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carbon mitigation studies, and then discusses some of the limitations of the available data and modeling results. It includes informationa bout estimated current emissions and sequestration, estimated addtional potential sequestration, limitations of mitigation potential estimates, and considerations for Congress.
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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: February 23, 2009
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L. & Parker, Larry
Description: This report provides an overview of the fundamental choices involved between a cost (tax) and a quantity (cap) control instrument, including a discussion of policy tools that could be employed to bridge the gap between a carbon tax and a cap-and-trade program. It also analyzes the potential advantages and disadvantages of a carbon tax, 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-- and provides conclusions.
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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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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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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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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. & Parker, Larry
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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Ocean Acidification

Ocean Acidification

Date: April 2, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Folger, Peter
Description: This report discusses the increasing concern, within the scientific community, that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could detrimentally alter marine ecosystems. The report discusses how ocean acidification happens, its possible outcomes, as well as natural and human responses that could possibly limit or reduce the rate of the process.
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Cars and Climate: What Can EPA Do to Control Greenhouse Gases from Mobile Sources?

Cars and Climate: What Can EPA Do to Control Greenhouse Gases from Mobile Sources?

Date: April 20, 2009
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Description: This report discusses legislation being considered by congress to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change. It discusses the EPA's authority under Title II and provides information regarding the mobile sources that might be regulated under this authority. Among these sources, motor vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks, including SUVs) are assumed to be the most likely initial targets for regulation, both because a petition addressing these sources began EPA's consideration of the endangerment issue, and because these are the most significant GHG emission sources among those covered by Title II.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department