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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
China and the United States—A Comparison of Green Energy Programs and Policies
This report looks at the laws, programs, and policies encouraging development of wind, solar, and biomass power in the China and the United States. While hydropower is the most developed source of renewable electricity in both China and the United States, additional development of conventional hydropower is not currently a major focus of energy policy in the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99052/
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, though the plants closest 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/metadc98969/
U.S. Energy: Overview and Key Statistics
This report presents a current and historical view of the supply and consumption of various forms of energy including oil, electricity, coal, and renewable energies. It includes compiled statistics and charts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97970/
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. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93832/
Energy Tax Policy: Issues in the 112th Congress
The economic rationale for interventions in energy markets helps inform the debate surrounding energy tax policy. This report begins by providing background on the economic rationale for energy market interventions, highlighting various market failures. After identifying possible market failures in the production and consumption of energy, possible interventions are discussed. The report concludes with an analysis of energy tax policy as it stands at the start of the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83960/
Energy Tax Policy: Issues in the 112th Congress
The economic rationale for interventions in energy markets helps inform the debate surrounding energy tax policy. This report begins by providing background on the economic rationale for energy market interventions, highlighting various market failures. After identifying possible market failures in the production and consumption of energy, possible interventions are discussed. The report concludes with an analysis of energy tax policy as it stands at the start of the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40134/
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/metadc40276/
Energy Tax Policy: Historical Perspectives on and Current Status of Energy Tax Expenditures
This report presents Energy Tax Policy from 1916 to 1970, throughout the 1970s, in the 1980s, and in the 1990s. It also discusses the economic rationale for Intervention in energy markets, energy tax expenditures, and other energy tax provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40098/
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework
The development of offshore oil, gas, and other mineral resources in the United States is impacted by a number of interrelated legal regimes, including international, federal, and state laws. International law provides a framework for establishing national ownership or control of offshore areas, and domestic federal law mirrors and supplements these standards. This report discusses these issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40204/
Clean Energy Standard: Potential Qualifying Energy Sources
This report begins with a brief examination of clean energy, renewable energy, and alternative energy. It then presents possible selection criteria Congress could use to determine which sources could be eligible for a CES depending on the goal(s) of the CES. The report provides an overview of the energy sources most commonly discussed as potential CES qualifying sources: biomass, fossil fuels (natural gas combined-cycle and coal-fired power plants with carbon capture and sequestration), geothermal resources, nuclear, solar, water, and wind. The report describes where each source can be found in the United States, the estimated quantity available for electricity generation, technologies used to create electricity from the source, advantages and disadvantages of using the source for electricity generation, and policy implications should the source be included in a CES.5 The report also contains a section on energy efficiency and its potential inclusion in a CES. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40142/
Energy Projects on Federal Lands: Leasing and Authorization
The report first reviews the laws and regulations affecting leasing of federal lands for exploration and production of oil, natural gas, and coal, as well as the permits that lessees must obtain in order to explore for and produce these resources. The report also addresses existing laws and regulations that govern the use of federal lands for renewable energy projects, including geothermal, wind, and solar energy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40081/
Israel's Offshore Natural Gas Discoveries Enhance Its Economic and Energy Outlook
Israel has been dependent on energy imports since it became a nation in 1948, but the recent offshore natural gas discoveries could change that and possibly make Israel an exporter of natural gas. Development of the recently discovered natural gas fields-Tamar, Dalit, and Leviathan- likely will decrease Israel's needs for imported natural gas, imported coal, and possibly imported oil. A switch to natural gas would most likely affect electric generation, but could also improve Israel's trade balance and lessen carbon dioxide emissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40114/
Nuclear Energy Policy
This report discusses nuclear energy issues currently facing Congress, such as federal incentives for new commercial reactors, radioactive waste management policy, research and development priorities, power plant safety and regulation, nuclear weapons proliferation, and security against terrorist attacks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40216/
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/metadc40267/
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. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93835/
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/metadc94212/
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/metadc97967/
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. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93834/
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/metadc96681/
Nuclear Energy Cooperation with Foreign Countries: Issues for Congress
This report discusses broad themes related to U.S. nuclear cooperation with other countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98008/
The World Bank Group Energy Sector Strategy
This report summarizes the provisions of the proposed "Energy Sector Strategy of the World Bank Group." It situates the strategy within current WBG lending practices and in response to various stakeholder critiques. A final section outlines issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98010/
Meeting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Mandate for Cellulosic Biofuels: Questions and Answers
This report discusses the background of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and answers some common questions about it. The RFS was expanded under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 in an effort to reduce dependence on foreign oil, promote biofuel use, and stabilize transportation fuel prices, among other goals. Over a 15-year period, the RFS seeks to establish a market for biofuels in the transportation sector by requiring that increasing amounts of biofuels be blended into transportation fuel. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96675/
Securing Nuclear Materials: The 2010 Summit and Issues for Congress
Congress will continue to decide on funding for the U.S. domestic and international programs focused on nuclear material security and nuclear terrorism prevention. Congress is also likely to assess implementation of the Administration's goal to secure nuclear materials by the end of 2013. The Obama Administration's FY2011 and FY2012 congressional budget request proposed overall increases in funding for nuclear security-related accounts, with the stated purpose of ramping up programs to meet the President's four-year goal. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83943/
Cuba's Offshore Oil Development: Background and U.S. Policy Considerations
This report looks at the background of Cuba's oil industry, and also three legislative initiatives introduced by the 112th Congress which take different approaches toward Cuba's offshore oil development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96680/
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 administrations continuation of these policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94012/
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. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93833/
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/metadc94247/
Renewable Energy Programs and the Farm Bill: Status and Issues
This report focuses on those policies contained in the 2008 farm bill (the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; P.L. 110-246) that support agriculture-based renewable energy, especially biofuels. The introductory sections briefly describe how these policies evolved and how they fit into the larger context of U.S. biofuels policy. Then, the policies specific to the 2008 farm bill are defined in terms of their function, goals, administration, funding, and implementation status. Finally, a section reviews the major emerging issues related to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) energy programs, particularly as related to their possible inclusion in the next farm bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83982/
U.S. Wind Turbine Manufacturing: Federal Support for an Emerging Industry
This report looks at how U.S. energy supply can be increased by wind power, which is a secure, environmentally-friendly, and economical source of power. Specific topics addressed are the components and manufacturing of wind turbines, and legislation mandating production of turbines and production of wind power. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93909/
Securing Nuclear Materials: The 2010 Summit and Issues for Congress
The 2010 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC, was part of President Obama's pledge to secure nuclear material around the world by 2013. Nuclear security measures refer to a wide range of actions to prevent theft or diversion of nuclear material or sabotage at an installation or in transit. Congress will continue to decide on funding for the U.S. domestic and international programs focused on nuclear material security and nuclear terrorism prevention. Congress is also likely to assess implementation of the Administration's goal to secure nuclear materials by the end of 2013. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86559/
Iran's Nuclear Program: Tehran's Compliance with International Obligations
This report provides a brief overview of Iran's nuclear program and describes the legal basis for the actions taken by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board and the Security Council. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83913/
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. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83941/
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 administering agency, authorizing statute(s), annual funding, and expiration date. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83916/
Meeting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Mandate for Cellulosic Biofuels: Questions and Answers
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was expanded under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA; P.L. 110-140) in an effort to reduce dependence on foreign oil, promote biofuel use, and stabilize transportation fuel prices, among other goals. Over a 15-year period, the RFS seeks to establish a market for biofuels in the transportation sector by requiring that increasing amounts of biofuels-36 billion gallons by 2022-be blended into transportation fuel. The mandate is to be accomplished with an assortment of advanced biofuels, including cellulosic biofuels-fuels produced from cellulosic materials including grasses, trees, and agricultural and municipal wastes-which will ramp up over time to comprise some 44% of the RFS in 2022. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83938/
Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
The huge earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station on March 11, 2011, knocked out backup power systems that were needed to cool the reactors at the plant, causing three of them to undergo fuel melting, hydrogen explosions, and radioactive releases. Radioactive contamination from the Fukushima plant forced the evacuation of communities up to 25 miles away and affected up to 100,000 residents, although it did not cause any immediate deaths. Studies of the Fukushima disaster have identified design changes, response actions, and other safety improvements that could have reduced or eliminated the amount of radioactivity released from the plant. As a result, Fukushima has prompted a reexamination of nuclear plant safety requirements around the world, including in the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87170/
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress
Alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles are seen by proponents as integral to improving urban air quality, decreasing dependence on foreign oil, and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. However, major barriers—especially economics—currently prevent the widespread use of these fuels and technologies. The 112th Congress has debated alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles directly and as it has addressed other key topics. On June 16, 2011 the Senate approved S.Amdt. 476 which would have eliminated the excise tax credit for blending ethanol in gasoline before its December 31, 2011 expiration date. Although the underlying legislation failed a cloture vote in the Senate, the amendment was approved 73-27. The prospects for further action increasing or extending biofuels and alternative fuels tax incentives may be limited in light of that vote. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87129/
Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Overview and Issues
Report that describes the general nature of the biofuels RFS and its implementation, outlines some of the emerging issues related to the sustainability of the continued growth in U.S. biofuels production needed to fulfill the expanding RFS mandate, and the emergence of potential unintended consequences of this rapid expansion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227634/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report gives an overview of the situation in the Arctic region. The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. The Arctic has increasingly become a subject of discussion among political leaders of the nations in the region. In varying degrees, the Arctic coastal states have indicated a willingness to establish and maintain a military presence in the high north. U.S. military forces, particularly the Navy and Coast Guard, have begun to pay more attention to the region. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87154/
Keeping America's Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress
Nearly half a million miles of pipeline transporting natural gas, oil, and other hazardous liquids crisscross 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 nation's pipeline networks are also widespread and vulnerable to accidents and terrorist attack. As it oversees the federal pipeline safety program and the federal role in pipeline security, Congress may wish to assess how the various elements of U.S. pipeline safety and security fit together in the nation's overall strategy to protect transportation infrastructure. Pipeline safety and security necessarily involve many groups: federal agencies, oil and gas pipeline associations, large and small pipeline operators, and local communities. Reviewing how these groups work together to achieve common goals could be an oversight challenge for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87161/
Financial Performance of the Major Oil Companies, 2007-2011
Periods of rising oil prices can result in reduced economic growth, rising prices, and reduced disposable incomes for consumers, as well as a deteriorating trade balance. For the oil industry, periods of high oil prices generally imply increasing cash flows and higher profits. Although the U.S. oil industry is composed of many firms, to many the face of the oil industry is represented by the five major firms operating extensively in the U.S. market. These firms are ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP plc, Royal Dutch Shell plc, and ConocoPhillips. During the period 2007 to 2011, the five major companies' upstream activities of exploration and production contributed more to the total profitability of the firms than the downstream activities of refining and marketing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87219/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. The Arctic has increasingly become a subject of discussion among political leaders of the nations in the region. In varying degrees, the Arctic coastal states have indicated a willingness to establish and maintain a military presence in the high north. U.S. military forces, particularly the Navy and Coast Guard, have begun to pay more attention to the region. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83942/
Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress
The use of biomass as an energy feedstock 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, crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. Most legislation involving biomass has focused on encouraging the production of liquid fuels from corn. For over 30 years, the term biomass has been a part of legislation enacted by Congress for various programs, indicating some interest by the general public and policymakers in expanding its use. To aid understanding of why U.S. consumers, utility groups, refinery managers, and others have not fully adopted biomass as an energy resource, this report investigates the characterization of biomass in legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86549/
Renewable Energy R&D Funding History: A Comparison with Funding for Nuclear Energy, Fossil Energy, and Energy Efficiency R&D
This report looks at the history and current status, including Congress delegated funding, of energy-related research and development of coal-based synthetic petroleum and atomic power. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85494/
Securing Nuclear Materials: The 2012 Summit and Issues for Congress
Congress will continue to decide on funding for the U.S. domestic and international programs focused on nuclear material security and nuclear terrorism prevention. Congress is also likely to assess implementation of the Administration's goal to secure nuclear materials by the end of 2013. The Obama Administration's FY2011 and FY2012 congressional budget request proposed overall increases in funding for nuclear security-related accounts, with the stated purpose of ramping up programs to meet the President's four-year goal. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87155/