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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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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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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Ocean Acidification

Ocean Acidification

Date: July 2, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Folger, Peter
Description: With increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the extent of effects on the ocean and marine resources is an increasing concern. One aspect of this issue is the ongoing process whereby seawater becomes acidified (i.e., ocean acidification) as more CO2 dissolves in it, causing hydrogen ion concentration in seawater to increase. While not yet fully understood, the ecological and economic consequences of ocean acidification could be substantial. Congress is beginning to focus attention on better understanding ocean acidification and determining how this concern might be addressed.
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Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)

Date: June 19, 2009
Creator: Folger, Peter
Description: Carbon capture and sequestration (or storage) - known as CCS - has attracted interest as a measure for mitigating global climate change because large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from fossil fuel use in the United States are potentially available to be captured and stored underground or prevented from reaching the atmosphere. Congressional interest has grown in CCS as part of legislative strategies to address climate change. The large and rapid influx of funding for industrial-scale CCS projects may accelerate development and deployment of CO2 capture technologies.
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Climate Change: The Role of the U.S. Agriculture Sector and Congressional Action

Climate Change: The Role of the U.S. Agriculture Sector and Congressional Action

Date: June 19, 2009
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: The debate in Congress over whether and how to address possible future climate change is intensifying. Often, the role of the U.S. agriculture sector is invoked in this debate. Agriculture is a source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which many scientists agree are contributing to observed climate change. Congress is considering a range of climate change policy options, including GHG emission reduction programs that would either mandate or authorize a cap-and-trade program to reduce GHG emissions. This report discusses this issue in detail, i.e., how the agricultural industry affects GHG emissions and efforts currently underway to combat these negative effects, but it does not address the potential effects of global climate change on U.S. agricultural production.
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The Role of Offsets in a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cap-and-Trade Program: Potential Benefits and Concerns

The Role of Offsets in a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cap-and-Trade Program: Potential Benefits and Concerns

Date: June 2, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: This report discusses offsets in relation to a greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program. The first section of this report provides an overview of offsets by discussing different types of offset projects and describing how the offsets would likely be used in an emission reduction program. The next section discusses the supply of offsets that might be available in an emission trading program. The subsequent sections examine the potential offset benefits and the potential concerns associated with offsets. The final section offers considerations for Congress.
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The Carbon Cycle: Implications for Climate Change and Congress

The Carbon Cycle: Implications for Climate Change and Congress

Date: March 13, 2008
Creator: Folger, Peter
Description: This report puts the human contribution of carbon to the atmosphere into the larger context of the global carbon cycle. The report focuses almost entirely on carbon dioxide (CO2), which alone is responsible for over half of the change in Earth's radiation balance. Moreover, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas released to the atmosphere from human activities.
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Global Climate Change: Status of Negotiations

Global Climate Change: Status of Negotiations

Date: June 17, 2008
Creator: Fletcher, Susan R.
Description: In December 2007, the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held their 13th annual meeting in Bali, Indonesia, and began the process of working toward an agreement/treaty that would succeed the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC when it expires in 2012. The Protocol includes a mandate for a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 developed/industrialized nations to an average of some 5% below their 1990 levels over the commitment period 2008-2012. The broad array of these issues, briefly discussed in this report, has been described by some as comprising perhaps the most complex negotiations ever undertaken internationally.
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Global Climate Change and Wildlife

Global Climate Change and Wildlife

Date: May 15, 2008
Creator: Sheikh, Pervaze A.; Corn, M. Lynne; Leggett, Jane A. & Folger, Peter
Description: Recently projected climate changes could have widespread effects on wildlife species. These effects might be positive or negative, depending on the species. Some effects might include extinction, range shifts, mismatches in phenology (timing of pollination, flowering, etc.), and population changes. If the effects of climate change are widespread, there is uncertainty on how wildlife will adapt. Some suggest that evolution and migration will enable species to adapt, whereas others contend that adaptation will be minimal because of limited habitat, and changes in climate that may occur may rapidly than adaptation can respond.
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Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense

Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense

Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Description: Whether broader expansions from federal environmental laws are needed to preserve military readiness has been an issue. Questions have been raised as to whether environmental requirements have limited military training activities to the point that readiness would be compromised. The potential impacts of broader exemptions on environmental quality have raised additional questions. Although certain exemptions the Department of Defense (DOD) first requested in FY2003 have been enacted into law, Congress has opposed others. From FY2003 to FY2008, DOD requested exemptions from the Clean Air Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. To date, Congress has not enacted these three latter exceptions. The Administration's FY2009 defense authorization bill does not include these exemptions.
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