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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress
This report discusses the use of biomass as an energy feedstock, which is emerging as a potentially viable alternative to address U.S. energy security concerns, foreign oil dependence, rural economic development, and diminishing sources of conventional energy. Biomass (organic matter that can be converted into energy) may include food crops, crops for energy (e.g., switchgrass or prairie perennials), crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. This report discusses legislation regarding biomass, the evolving definition of biomass, and the positions of supporters and detractors of biomass as an alternative energy source. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29569/
The Federal Government's Role in Electric Transmission Facility Siting
This report looks at the history of transmission siting and the reason behind the movement toward an increased federal role in siting decisions, explains the new federal role in transmission siting pursuant to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and discusses legal issues related to this and any potential future expansions of the federal role. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29571/
The U.S. Oil Refining Industry: Background in Changing Markets and Fuel Policies
This report begins by looking at the current production capacity of the oil refineries operating in the United States, and the sources and changes in crude oil supply. It then examines the changing characteristics of petroleum and petroleum product markets and identifies the effects of these changes on the refining industry. The report concludes with discussion of the policy and regulatory factors that are likely to affect the structure and performance of the industry during the next decade. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29627/
Winter Fuels Outlook 2010-2011
This report discusses findings gleaned through the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) publication titled Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook (STEWFO) for the 2010-2011 winter heating season. STEWFO projects how much American consumers should expect to see heating expenditures rise during the 2010-2011 winter season. These findings take into account the currently slow economic growth, high unemployment numbers, and uncertainty regarding the federal funding of the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29625/
Surface Transportation Funding and Finance
This report discusses changes in funding to the national surface transportation infrastructure, especially in light of the recession that began in 2007, which led to decreases in driving and fuel use. This report focuses on possible revenue sources for surface transportation infrastructure. It begins with a brief discussion of the problems associated with the trust fund financing system and then explores possible immediate and longer-term solutions to the financing problem. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29595/
Options for a Federal Renewable Electricity Standard
This report discusses current ideas for a federal Renewable Electricity (or Energy) Standard (RES) and a broader Clean Energy Standard (CES). The goal of this report is to explore how such policies could potentially increase the amounts of renewable electricity generated in the United States, discussing other related public policy goals and rationales for renewable energy development, and the challenges/drawbacks of RES policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29634/
The U.S. Oil Refining Industry: Background in Changing Markets and Fuel Policies
This report begins by looking at the current production capacity of the oil refineries operating in the United States, and the sources and changes in crude oil supply. It then examines the changing characteristics of petroleum and petroleum product markets and identifies the effects of these changes on the refining industry. The report concludes with discussion of the policy and regulatory factors that are likely to affect the structure and performance of the industry during the next decade. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31385/
Energy's Water Demand: Trends, Vulnerabilities, and Management
The nation's energy choices embody many tradeoffs. Water use is one of those tradeoffs. The energy choices before Congress represent vastly different demands on domestic freshwater. The energy sector's water consumption is projected to rise 50% from 2005 to 2030. This rising water demand derives from both an increase in the amount of energy demanded and shifts to more water-intense energy sources and technologies. This report discusses this issue as well as related issues that may arise for the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31387/
North Korea's 2009 Nuclear Test: Containment, Monitoring, Implications
This report discusses the implications of North Korea's May 25, 2009, underground nuclear test, related issues such as the the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), containment of radioactive materials, and other concerns for Congress, such as improving nuclear monitoring capability. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31355/
Cuba's Offshore Oil Development: Background and U.S. Policy Considerations
This report first examines Cuba's oil sector, including current production and consumption levels. It then looks at Cuba's offshore development, including the Repsol project, other offshore projects involving state-owed foreign oil companies, and the outlook for Cuba's offshore oil production. The report then analyzes considerations for the United States raised by Cuba's offshore oil development, examining oil spill risks and environmental dangers if spilled oil reaches U.S. waters, the status of disaster coordination between the United States and Cuba, and potential approaches on the issue. The report then examines the debate over broader U.S. involvement in Cuba's offshore oil development, and touches on two outstanding boundary issues related to Cuba's offshore oil development. Finally, the report examines legislative initiatives that reflect two contrasting policy approaches toward Cuba's offshore oil development - one would authorize U.S. investment in the sector, and the other would not affect current prohibitions on U.S. firms' economic dealings with Cuba and would impose sanctions on foreign companies and individuals who support the development of Cuba's petroleum resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490948/
U.S. Fossil Fuel Resources: Terminology, Reporting, and Summary
This report describes the characteristics of fossil fuels that make it necessary to use precise terminology, summarizes the major terms and their meanings, and provides a brief summary of the United States' endowment of fossil fuels and the relationship between the U.S. fossil fuel energy endowment and those of other nations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490893/
U.S.-Australia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation: Issues for Congress
This report briefly discusses nuclear relations and cooperation between the United States and Australia, including the Atomic Energy Act and President Obama's latest renewal agreement of said Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31362/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490936/
Renewable Energy Programs and the Farm Bill: Status and Issues
This report discusses the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, the 2008 farm bill) which extends and expands many of the renewable energy programs originally authorized in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-171, 2002 farm bill). The bill also continues the emphasis on the research and development of advanced and cellulosic bioenergy authorized in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (P.L. 110-140). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491199/
The Stuxnet Computer Worm: Harbinger of an Emerging Warfare Capability
In September 2010, media reports emerged about a new form of cyber attack that appeared to target Iran, although the actual target, if any, is unknown. This report discusses this cyber attack, a malicious software program known as Stuxnet, which infected computer systems that were used to control the functioning of a nuclear power plant. Once inside the system, Stuxnet had the ability to degrade or destroy the software on which it operated. Although early reports focused on the impact on facilities in Iran, researchers discovered that the program had spread throughout multiple countries worldwide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31393/
Keeping America's Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress
This report discusses new legislation being considered by the 111th Congress to improve the safety and security of the U.S. pipeline network. H.R. 6008 would require pipeline operators to provide immediate telephonic notice of a pipeline release to federal emergency response officials and would increase civil penalties for pipeline safety violations. S. 3824 would increase the number of federal pipeline safety inspectors, would require automatic shutoff valves for natural gas pipelines, and would mandate internal inspections of transmission pipelines, among other provisions digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490918/
Global Natural Gas: A Growing Resource
The role of natural gas in the U.S. economy is expected to be a major part of the debate over energy policy in the 112th Congress. This report briefly explains key aspects of global natural gas markets, including supply and demand, as well as major U.S. developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491455/
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress
High levels of oil imports and high crude oil and gasoline prices in recent years have led to increased interest in the U.S. fuel supply. Recent congressional interest has focused on alternatives to petroleum, ways to improve the efficiency of the U.S. transportation sector, and ways to improve the stability and security of the petroleum supply and refining sectors. Key components of federal policies to reduce petroleum consumption include the promotion of alternatives to petroleum fuels and the promotion of more efficient vehicles. This report provides an overview of current issues surrounding alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491333/
Biofuels Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs
This report outlines federal programs that provide direct or indirect incentives for biofuels. For each program described, the report provides details including the administering agency, authorizing statute(s), annual funding, and expiration date. The Appendix provides summary information in a table format. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462253/
Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress
This report discusses the use of biomass as an energy feedstock, which is emerging as a potentially viable alternative to address U.S. energy security concerns, foreign oil dependence, rural economic development, and diminishing sources of conventional energy. Biomass (organic matter that can be converted into energy) may include food crops, crops for energy (e.g., switchgrass or prairie perennials), crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. This report discusses legislation regarding biomass, the evolving definition of biomass, and the positions of supporters and detractors of biomass as an alternative energy source. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490972/
Geoengineering: Governance and Technology Policy
This report is intended as a primer on the policy issues, science, and governance of geoengineering technologies. The report will first set the policy parameters under which geoengineering technologies may be considered. It will then describe selected technologies in detail and discuss their status. The third section provides a discussion of possible approaches to governmental involvement in, and oversight of, geoengineering, including a summary of domestic and international instruments and institutions that may affect geoengineering projects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31472/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122349/
U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress
This report discusses key policy issues related to a nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States and Russia signed on May 6, 2008, including future nuclear energy cooperation with Russia, U.S.-Russian bilateral relations, nonproliferation cooperation, and Russia's policies toward Iran. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122329/
Cellulosic Biofuels: Analysis of Policy Issues for Congress
Report that provides background on the current effort to develop industrial-scale, competitive technology to produce biofuels from cellulosic feedstocks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228086/
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices
Report that provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228141/
U.S.-Australia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation: Issues for Congress
This report briefly discusses nuclear relations and cooperation between the United States and Australia, including the Atomic Energy Act and President Obama's latest renewal agreement of said Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103101/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103088/
Renewable Energy R&D Funding History: A Comparison with Funding for Nuclear Energy, Fossil Energy, and Energy Efficiency R&D
This report provides a cumulative history of Department of Energy (DOE) funding for renewable energy compared with funding for the other energy technologies-nuclear energy, fossil energy, and energy efficiency. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31502/
Israel's Offshore Natural Gas Discoveries Enhance Its Economic and Energy Outlook
This report discusses Israel's historical dependence on energy imports, and the recent offshore natural gas discoveries that could possibly make Israel a prominent exporter of natural gas. This report also discusses how development of the recently discovered natural gas fields could affect Israel's economy and energy security, and how Israel may or may not consult with the U.S. or other natural gas producting countries while weighing its options. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31480/
Industrial Demand and the Changing Natural Gas Market
This report analyzes the behavior of the industrial component of natural gas demand, examining the conditions in the industries that consume natural gas that might lead to reduced demand. The nitrogen-based fertilizer industry is examined as an example of a major natural gas consuming industry that has been affected by high and/or fluctuating prices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103119/
The Market for Biomass-Based Diesel Fuel in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
This report discusses the current market for biomass-based diesel (BBD) fuels and their corresponding RINs (Renewable Identification Numbers) under the RFS. It examines the role that the RIN market may play as an economic incentive for the production of biodiesel and other BBD fuels in the future. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103121/
U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the United States' relationship with India as it regards nuclear nonproliferation and cooperation. It particularly looks at agreements made between the Bush administration and India, and the Obama administration's continuation of these policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103186/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33113/
Energy and Water Development: FY2011 Appropriations
This report discusses key budgetary issues for FY2011 involving the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, which provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Energy, and a number of independent agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103087/
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices
This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33103/
The U.S. Trade Deficit, the Dollar, and the Price of Oil
This report analyzes the relationship between the dollar and the price of oil and how the two might interact. This report provides an assessment of the impact a range of prices of imported oil could have on the U.S. trade deficit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33074/
Middle East and North Africa Unrest: Implications for Oil and Natural Gas Markets
This report examines the consequences of the recent unrest in the Middle East and North Africa on oil and natural gas markets, both in the short term and the long term. It also discuses various policy considerations for Congress and includes an appendix of oil and gas exports and energy concerns by country. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99023/
Administering Green Programs in Congress: Issues and Options
This report discusses "green" programs and the higher profile they have gained since the 110th Congress. "Green" programs are those designed to create an environmentally friendly work environment and conserve energy. This report discusses initiatives and policy options that would improve the "greening" process on Capitol Hill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33075/
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve and Refined Product Reserves: Authorization and Drawdown Policy
This report discusses the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in the Energy Policy and Consevation Act, which was authorized to help prevent a repetition of the economic dislocation caused by the 1973-1974 Arab oil embargo. The Government Accountability Office recently observed that the proportion of crude oil grades in the SPR has been growing less compatible with the heavier grades of crude oil that U.S. refineries have been upgrading to handle. This finding has raised questions about the SPR's effectiveness during a long-term oil disruption involving heavy oil. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33021/
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices
This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94213/
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices
This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the United States' merchandise trade deficit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33104/
Fukushima Nuclear Crisis
This report briefly discusses the March 11, 2001, earthquake off the east coast of Honshu, Japan's largest island. The earthquake caused an automatic shutdown of eleven of Japan's fifty-five operating nuclear power plants. The plants closes to the earthquake's epicenter, Fukushima and Onagawa, were damaged by the earthquake and resulting tsunami. This report also discusses efforts by the United States and other countries to provide assistance to Japan to deal with the nuclear crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33026/
Japan 2011 Disaster: CRS Experts
The following table provides access to names and contact information for CRS experts on policy concerns relating to the nuclear and humanitarian disaster unfolding in Japan. Specific policy areas are identified. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33025/
Keeping America’s Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress
This report covers ways in which the 112th Congress can introduce relevant legislation to safeguard pipelines that transport natural gas, oil, and other hazardous liquids across the United States. While an efficient and fundamentally safe means of transport, many pipelines carry materials with the potential to cause public injury and environmental damage; the networks are also widespread and vulnerable to accidents and terrorist attack. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98961/
Energy and Water Development: FY2011 Appropriations
This report covers key budgetary issues involving the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, which provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Energy (DOE), and a number of independent agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98956/
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs
This report describes federal programs that provide grants, loans, loan guarantees, and other direct or indirect regulatory incentives for energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable energy. For each program, the report provides the administering agency, authorizing statute(s), annual funding, and the program expiration date. The appendixes provide summary information in a tabular format. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99013/
Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?
This report discusses some of the most relevant factors to take into account when considering whether or not biopower is carbon neutral. It does not discuss carbon accounting for other bioenergy pathways. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99021/
Clean Energy Standard: Design Elements, State Baseline Compliance and Policy Considerations
This report evaluates design elements of previous Clean Energy Standards (CES) proposals, summarizes the Administration’s CES policy framework, provides state-level baseline CES compliance analysis, and presents several policy options that Congress might consider as part of a CES debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99032/
U.S. Fossil Fuel Resources: Terminology, Reporting, and Summary
This report describes the characteristics of fossil fuels that make it necessary to use precise terminology, summarizes the major terms and their meanings, and provides a brief summary of the United States’ endowment of fossil fuels and the relationship between the U.S. fossil fuel energy endowment and those of other nations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99011/
Nuclear Power Plant Sites: Maps of Seismic Hazards and Population Centers
This report gives a map of current commercial nuclear power plants and their relation to seismic hazards. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99037/