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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Date: May 9, 2011
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: There are five common law/nuisance suits addressing climate change now or formerly active. Of the three no longer active, none were successful. Of the two still-active cases, one has recently leaped to center stage because the Supreme Court agreed to hear it. In Connecticut v. American Electric Power Co., Inc., eight states sued five utility companies alleged to be emitting the most GHGs in the nation through their coal-fired electric power plants. Following a Second Circuit decision, the Supreme Court agreed on December 6, 2010, to resolve threshold issues in this case.
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: June 18, 2012
Creator: Lattanzio, Richard K.
Description: This report discusses basic methodology of life-cycle assessments and compares several publicly-available assessments of life-cycle emissions data for Canadian oil sands crudes against each other and against those of other global reference crudes. It also includes a survey of the scientific literature and the findings of the State Department's Keystone XL Project Envoronmental Impact Statement, and concludes with a discussion of tools for policymakers who are interested in using the assessments to investigate the potential impacts of U.S. energy policy choices onthe environment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
China's Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Mitigation Policies

China's Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Mitigation Policies

Date: July 18, 2011
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Description: This report discusses China's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well as the policies and programs that they have put in place to mitigate them. These issues affect how Congress considers envionmental policies and relations with China.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate: Marine Mammal Issues

Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate: Marine Mammal Issues

Date: May 12, 1995
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: After global warming became a concern in the mid-1950s, researchers proposed measuring deep ocean temperatures to reveal any significant trends in core ocean warming. Acoustic thermometry can detect changes in ocean temperature by receiving low-frequency sounds transmitted across an ocean basin because the speed of sound is proportional to water temperature. Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate, or ATOC, is an international program involving 11 institutions in seven nations. It is designed as a 30-month "proof-of-concept" project to provide data on possible global climate change, with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Defense. A debate has arisen over ATOC's impact on marine mammals versus the benefits of better global warming information derived from ATOC. This report dicusses the ATOC program and related concerns.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Air Quality: Impacts of Trip Reduction Programs on States and Affected Employers

Air Quality: Impacts of Trip Reduction Programs on States and Affected Employers

Date: August 18, 1993
Creator: Flechtner, Maura K & Mayer, Susan L
Description: This report discusses employer trip reduction (ETR) programs, which would require large employers to implement certain transportation control measures as part of a national effort to combat air pollution, largely as a direct result of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Global Climate Change: The Role of U.S. Foreign Assistance

Global Climate Change: The Role of U.S. Foreign Assistance

Date: November 21, 1997
Creator: Tarnoff, Curt
Description: None
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: June 19, 2009
Creator: Johnson, Renée; Gorte, Ross W.; Yacobucci, Brent D. & Schnepf, Randy
Description: Numerous theoretical and empirical studies estimate the greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential of farm and forestry activities, and suggest that the potential for carbon uptake in agricultural soils and forest lands is much greater than current rates. Following a discussion of the estimated current emissions and carbon sequestration by the agricultural and forestry sectors, this report presents a brief overview of the available estimates from USDA and EPA carbon mitigation studies, and then discusses some of the limitations of the available data and modeling results. This report is organized into four parts, including a brief overview of the agriculture and forestry sectors within the broader climate change debate, as well as various data and information on potential for carbon storage and mitigation from farming and forestry activities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department