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 Country: United States
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Clean Energy Standard: Summary and Analysis of S. 2146

Clean Energy Standard: Summary and Analysis of S. 2146

Date: May 9, 2012
Creator: Brown, Phillip
Description: U.S. policymakers have considered and deliberated on several policy designs that could potentially reduce energy-related carbon emissions. In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama proposed the concept of a Clean Energy Standard (CES) that would result in 80% of U.S. electricity generation from clean energy sources by 2035. In March of 2012, the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 (S. 2146) was introduced in the Senate.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India: Issues for Congress

U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India: Issues for Congress

Date: May 7, 2012
Creator: Kerr, Paul K.
Description: 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.
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U.S. Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage

U.S. Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage

Date: May 3, 2012
Creator: Werner, James D.
Description: This report focuses on the current situation with spent nuclear fuel storage in the United States. It does not address all of the issues associated with permanent disposal of SNF, but rather focuses on the SNF storage situation, primarily at current and former reactor facilities for the potentially foreseeable future.
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U.S. Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing: Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Support

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing: Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Support

Date: April 27, 2012
Creator: Platzer, Michaela D.
Description: The most widely used solar technology involves photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, which draw on semiconducting materials to convert sunlight into electricity. By year-end 2011, the total number of grid-connected PV systems nationwide reached almost 215,000. Domestic demand is met both by imports and by about 100 U.S. manufacturing facilities. The competitiveness of solar PV as a source of electric generation in the United States will likely be adversely affected both by the expiration of tax provisions and by the rapid development of shale gas, which has the potential to lower the cost of gas-fired power generation and reduce the cost-competitiveness of solar power, particularly as an energy source for utilities. In light of these developments, the ability to build a significant U.S. production base for PV equipment is in question.
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Hydraulic Fracturing and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): Selected Issues

Hydraulic Fracturing and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): Selected Issues

Date: April 25, 2012
Creator: Murrill, Brandon J.
Description: This report provides an overview of two situations in which agencies are arguing that they do not need to conduct a comprehensive environmental review of hydraulic fracturing under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
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The Strategic Petroleum Reserve: Authorization, Operation, and Drawdown Policy

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve: Authorization, Operation, and Drawdown Policy

Date: April 25, 2012
Creator: Andrews, Anthony & Pirog, Robert
Description: This report looks at the history, purpose, and current status of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
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U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices

U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices

Date: April 13, 2012
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit.
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U.S. Energy: Overview and Key Statistics

U.S. Energy: Overview and Key Statistics

Date: April 11, 2012
Creator: Behrens, Carl E. & Glover, Carol
Description: Energy supplies and prices are major economic factors in the United States, and energy markets are volatile and unpredictable. Thus, energy policy has been a recurring issue for Congress since the first major crisis in the 1970s. As an aid in policy making, this report presents a current and historical view of the supply and consumption of various forms of energy.
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Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues

Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues

Date: April 10, 2012
Creator: Tiemann, Mary & Vann, Adam
Description: This report reviews past and proposed treatment of hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Water Drinking Ace, the principal federal statute for regulating the underground injection of fluids to protect groundwater sources of drinking water. It reviews current provisions for regulating underground injection activities, and discusses some possible implications of, and issues associated with, enactment of legislation authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate hydraulic fracturing under this statute.
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Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: April 5, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, including sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered species; and increased military operations in the region. It includes background information on the region and on a variety of issues for which Congress may want to consider legislation.
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Hydraulic Fracturing: Chemical Disclosure Requirements

Hydraulic Fracturing: Chemical Disclosure Requirements

Date: April 4, 2012
Creator: Murrill, Brandon J. & Vann, Adam
Description: This report provides an overview of current and proposed laws at the state and federal levels that require the disclosure of the chemicals added to the fluid used in hydraulic fracturing.
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U.S. Oil Imports and Exports

U.S. Oil Imports and Exports

Date: April 4, 2012
Creator: Nerurkar, Neelesh
Description: Oil import and export developments pose a host of policy issues. Concerns about import dependence continue to generate interest in policy options to directly discourage imports or to reduce the need for imports by increasing domestic supply and decreasing demand. Rising exports at a time of rising prices has led to calls for policies to restrict such trade. The debate around the Keystone XL pipeline involves concerns about imports, exports, and the environment. The rising cost for fuels has led to calls for release of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, meant to provide a short term policy option in case of supply disruptions. Policy options may entail various economic, fiscal, and environmental trade-offs.
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The Strategic Petroleum Reserve: Authorization, Operation, and Drawdown Policy

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve: Authorization, Operation, and Drawdown Policy

Date: April 2, 2012
Creator: Andrews, Anthony & Pirog, Robert
Description: This report looks at the history, purpose, and current status of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Energy Tax Policy: Issues in the 112th Congress

Energy Tax Policy: Issues in the 112th Congress

Date: March 28, 2012
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F. & Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Description: 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 the current status of energy tax policy.
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Energy Storage for Power Grids and Electric Transportation: A Technology Assessment

Energy Storage for Power Grids and Electric Transportation: A Technology Assessment

Date: March 27, 2012
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Description: This report attempts to summarize the current state of knowledge regarding energy storage technologies for both electric power grid and electric vehicle applications. It is intended to serve as a reference for policymakers interested in understanding the range of technologies and applications associated with energy storage, comparing them, when possible, in a structured way to highlight key characteristics relevant to widespread use. While the emphasis is on technology, this report also addresses the significant policy, market, and other non-technical factors that may impede storage adoption. It considers eight major categories of storage technology: pumped hydro, compressed air, batteries, capacitors, superconducting magnetic energy storage, flywheels, thermal storage, and hydrogen.
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U.S. Crude Oil Production in Federal and Non-Federal Areas

U.S. Crude Oil Production in Federal and Non-Federal Areas

Date: March 20, 2012
Creator: Humphries, Marc
Description: A brief look at how oil prices are affected by production.
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Keeping America's Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress

Keeping America's Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress

Date: March 13, 2012
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Description: 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.
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The Federal Excise Tax on Gasoline and the Highway Trust Fund: A Short History

The Federal Excise Tax on Gasoline and the Highway Trust Fund: A Short History

Date: March 9, 2012
Creator: Bickley, James M.
Description: A history and overview of current issues relating to the gasoline excise tax.
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Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress

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

Date: March 7, 2012
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi & Gorte, Ross W.
Description: 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.
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Renewable Energy R&D Funding History: A Comparison with Funding for Nuclear Energy, Fossil Energy, and Energy Efficiency R&D

Renewable Energy R&D Funding History: A Comparison with Funding for Nuclear Energy, Fossil Energy, and Energy Efficiency R&D

Date: March 7, 2012
Creator: Sissine, Fred
Description: 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.
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Securing Nuclear Materials: The 2012 Summit and Issues for Congress

Securing Nuclear Materials: The 2012 Summit and Issues for Congress

Date: March 7, 2012
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Description: 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.
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Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: February 27, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: 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.
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Financial Performance of the Major Oil Companies, 2007-2011

Financial Performance of the Major Oil Companies, 2007-2011

Date: February 17, 2012
Creator: Pirog, Robert
Description: 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.
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Keeping America's Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress

Keeping America's Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress

Date: February 13, 2012
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department