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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions

EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions

Date: January 13, 2016
Creator: McCarthy, James E.; Ramseur, Jonathan L.; Leggett, Jane A.; Wyatt, Alexandra M. & Dolan, Alissa M.
Description: This report summarizes the issues the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encountered when developing regulations for "carbon pollution" from existing power plants as part of the Clean Power Plan. The report describes how the EPA resolved these issues. In addition to discussing details of the Clean Power Plan, the report addresses the EPA's authority under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), the EPA's previous experience using that authority, and other background questions. The report discusses the ongoing litigation in which a number of states and other entities have challenged the rule, while other states and entities have intervened in support of the rule. It also discusses challenges to the rule under the Congressional Review Act and other options that Congress has to influence the EPA's action.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
2013 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5): Designating Nonattainment Areas

2013 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5): Designating Nonattainment Areas

Date: December 23, 2015
Creator: Esworthy, Robert
Description: This report focuses primarily on the NAAQS implementation process for designating geographical nonattainment areas with respect to the tightening of the PM2.5 annual standard under the 2013 particulates NAAQS.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Air Quality: EPA's 2013 Changes to the Particulate Matter (PM) Standard

Air Quality: EPA's 2013 Changes to the Particulate Matter (PM) Standard

Date: December 23, 2015
Creator: Esworthy, Robert
Description: This report summarizes the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and includes comparisons with previous (1997 and 2006) promulgated and proposed standards.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Greenhouse Gas Pledges by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Greenhouse Gas Pledges by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Date: October 19, 2015
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Description: This report briefly summarizes the existing commitments and pledges of selected national and regional governments to limit their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as contributions to the global effort. The negotiations cover additional topics, including adaptation to the impacts of climate change and financing to assist the efforts of low-income countries.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
EPA's New Ozone Standards: A Few Thoughts

EPA's New Ozone Standards: A Few Thoughts

Date: September 29, 2015
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Description: This report discusses the EPA's review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). After several years of analysis, EPA proposed more stringent standards last November. This began a public comment period, leading toward the final decision.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
EPA's Clean Power Plan: Highlights of the Final Rule

EPA's Clean Power Plan: Highlights of the Final Rule

Date: August 14, 2015
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L. & McCarthy, James E.
Description: This report provides an initial analysis of EPA's final rule -- a prepublication version, known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), pursuant to Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act -- summarizing highlights and identifying differences between the final and proposed rules. The topics discussed do not represent an exhaustive list of the differences from the proposed rule or the support or opposition that may be raised by various stakeholders.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Greenhouse Gas Pledges by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Greenhouse Gas Pledges by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Date: July 20, 2015
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Description: This report briefly summarizes the existing commitments and pledges of selected national and regional governments to limit their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as contributions to the global effort.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Transportation Conformity Under the Clean Air Act

Transportation Conformity Under the Clean Air Act

Date: May 21, 2015
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Description: This report explains the Clean Air Act requirement that federal departments and agencies demonstrate that their activities--including projects that they fund--"conform" to state plans for achieving air quality standards. The report explains the statutory requirements, reviews the recent history of their implementation, and examines how conformity requirements might affect areas designated "nonattainment" for a revised ozone air quality standard.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Air Issues in the 114th Congress: An Overview

Clean Air Issues in the 114th Congress: An Overview

Date: May 12, 2015
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Description: This report discusses regulatory actions that have recently received attention in the 114th Congress including EPA's proposed regulations on the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from power plants, and a proposed revision of the ambient air quality standard for ozone.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
EPA's Proposed Clean Power Plan: Conversion to Mass-Based Emission Targets

EPA's Proposed Clean Power Plan: Conversion to Mass-Based Emission Targets

Date: March 17, 2015
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: This report discusses the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) mass-based conversion methodology and the resulting state-specific mass-based targets.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
EPA's Proposed Clean Power Plan: Conversion to Mass-Based Emission Targets

EPA's Proposed Clean Power Plan: Conversion to Mass-Based Emission Targets

Date: March 17, 2015
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: This report discusses the Environmental Protection Agency's mass-based conversion methodology and the resulting state-specific mass-based targets.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?

Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?

Date: February 19, 2015
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi
Description: This report discusses some factors taken into account when considering whether biopower is carbon neutral. It does not discuss carbon accounting for other bioenergy pathways.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

Date: January 8, 2015
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report provides background information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory activity during the Obama Administration. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of rules not yet promulgated (including identification of related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables that show which rules remain under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Air Quality: EPA's 2013 Changes to the Particulate Matter (PM) Standard

Air Quality: EPA's 2013 Changes to the Particulate Matter (PM) Standard

Date: January 7, 2015
Creator: Esworthy, Robert
Description: This report summarizes the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) January 15, 2013, final and June 2012 proposed changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and includes comparisons with previous (1997 and 2006) promulgated and proposed standards. Key actions leading up to the agency's determination, and potential issues and concerns associated with changing the Particulate Matter annual standard, are also highlighted.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Air Issues in the 113th Congress: An Overview

Clean Air Issues in the 113th Congress: An Overview

Date: January 6, 2015
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Description: This report discusses air pollution regulations and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) regulatory actions on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and also addresses some climate change issues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ozone Air Quality Standards: EPA's 2015 Revision

Ozone Air Quality Standards: EPA's 2015 Revision

Date: January 5, 2015
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Description: This report discusses the standard-setting process, the specifics of the current and most recent reviews, and issues that may be raised as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brings the current review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to completion.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Canadian Oil Sands: Life-Cycle Assessments of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Canadian Oil Sands: Life-Cycle Assessments of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Date: December 30, 2014
Creator: Lattanzio, Richard K.
Description: This report discusses the basic methodology of life-cycle assessments and compares several of the publicly-available studies of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data for Canadian oil sands crudes against each other and against those of other global reference crudes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Recent Trends and Factors

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Recent Trends and Factors

Date: November 24, 2014
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: A question for policy makers is whether U.S. GHG emissions will remain at current levels, decrease to meet the President's 2020 and 2025 goals, or increase to former (or even higher) levels. Multiple factors, including socioeconomics, technology, and climate policies, may impact GHG emission levels. The first section of this report provides current levels and recent trends in U.S. GHG emissions. The second section takes a closer look at some of the key factors that influence emission levels. The third section discusses the challenges in making GHG emission projections by comparing observed emissions with pre-observed emission estimates.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Lessons Learned and Issues for Policy Makers

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Lessons Learned and Issues for Policy Makers

Date: November 14, 2014
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: The first section of this report provides an overview of the RGGI cap-and-trade program and the participating RGGI states. The subsequent sections discuss selected issues raised by RGGI that may be of interest to policy makers. The final section provides some final observations that may be instructive to policy makers.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
EPA's Clean Power Plan Proposal: Are the Emission Rate Targets Front-Loaded?

EPA's Clean Power Plan Proposal: Are the Emission Rate Targets Front-Loaded?

Date: November 3, 2014
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: On June 18, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulations (the "Clean Power Plan") addressing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units. This report briefly discusses this proposal.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Air Issues in the 113th Congress: An Overview

Clean Air Issues in the 113th Congress: An Overview

Date: October 21, 2014
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Description: This report discusses the air pollution regulations and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) regulatory actions on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and also addresses some climate change issues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
EPA's Upcoming Ozone Standard: How Much Will Compliance Cost?

EPA's Upcoming Ozone Standard: How Much Will Compliance Cost?

Date: October 15, 2014
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Description: This report briefly discusses upcoming changes in climate policy and cost associated with them. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under a court order to complete a review of its ambient air quality standard for ozone (the "ozone NAAQS") by October 1, 2015. The agency must propose any change to the standard by December 1 of [2014].
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ozone Air Quality Standards: EPA's 2015 Revision

Ozone Air Quality Standards: EPA's 2015 Revision

Date: October 3, 2014
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Description: This report discusses the standard-setting process, the specifics of the current and most recent reviews, and issues that may be raised as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brings the current review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to completion.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Climate Summit 2014: Warm-Up for 2015

Climate Summit 2014: Warm-Up for 2015

Date: September 22, 2014
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Description: This report discusses Climate Summit 2014, its context, and its impact on future international climate initiatives.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department