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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress

Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress

Date: October 28, 2010
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi & Gorte, Ross W.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Federal Government's Role in Electric Transmission Facility Siting

The Federal Government's Role in Electric Transmission Facility Siting

Date: October 28, 2010
Creator: Vann, Adam
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The U.S. Oil Refining Industry: Background in Changing Markets and Fuel Policies

The U.S. Oil Refining Industry: Background in Changing Markets and Fuel Policies

Date: October 29, 2010
Creator: Andrews, Anthony & Pirog, Robert
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Winter Fuels Outlook 2010-2011

Winter Fuels Outlook 2010-2011

Date: October 29, 2010
Creator: Pirog, Robert
Description: 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).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Surface Transportation Funding and Finance

Surface Transportation Funding and Finance

Date: November 10, 2010
Creator: Fischer, John W; Kirk, Robert S. & Mallett, William J.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Options for a Federal Renewable Electricity Standard

Options for a Federal Renewable Electricity Standard

Date: November 12, 2010
Creator: Campbell, Richard J.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The U.S. Oil Refining Industry: Background in Changing Markets and Fuel Policies

The U.S. Oil Refining Industry: Background in Changing Markets and Fuel Policies

Date: November 22, 2010
Creator: Andrews, Anthony; Pirog, Robert & Sherlock, Molly F.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Energy's Water Demand: Trends, Vulnerabilities, and Management

Energy's Water Demand: Trends, Vulnerabilities, and Management

Date: November 24, 2010
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
North Korea's 2009 Nuclear Test: Containment, Monitoring, Implications

North Korea's 2009 Nuclear Test: Containment, Monitoring, Implications

Date: November 24, 2010
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cuba's Offshore Oil Development: Background and U.S. Policy Considerations

Cuba's Offshore Oil Development: Background and U.S. Policy Considerations

Date: November 29, 2010
Creator: Nerurkar, Neelesh
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department