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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues

Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues

Date: August 13, 2010
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Description: The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, 2008 farm bill) created the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). This report discusses the two main purposes of BCAP, which are (1) to support the establishment and production of eligible crops for conversion to bioenergy in selected areas, and (2) to assist agricultural and forest land owners and operators with collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Renewable Energy Programs in the 2008 Farm Bill

Renewable Energy Programs in the 2008 Farm Bill

Date: August 13, 2010
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Description: This report discuses the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, the 2008 farm bill) that extends and expands many of the renewable energy programs originally authorized in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Geoengineering: Governance and Technology Policy

Geoengineering: Governance and Technology Policy

Date: August 16, 2010
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi; Lattanzio, Richard K. & Barbour, Emily C.
Description: 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.
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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: August 19, 2010
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 balance.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Waiver Authority Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)

Waiver Authority Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)

Date: August 20, 2010
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: This report provides a brief overview of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program and discusses the process and criteria for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve a waiver petition. The RFS program required that renewable fuels be blended into gasoline and other transportation fuels.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Nuclear Power Plant Security and Vulnerabilities

Nuclear Power Plant Security and Vulnerabilities

Date: August 23, 2010
Creator: Holt, Mark & Andrews, Anthony
Description: This report discusses the physical security at nuclear power plants. The physical security of nuclear power plants and their vulnerability to deliberate acts of terrorism was elevated to a national security concern following the attacks of September 11, 2001. Since the attacks, Congress has repeatedly focused oversight and legislative attention on nuclear power plant security requirements established and enforced by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
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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: September 14, 2010
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Biofuels Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs

Biofuels Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs

Date: September 15, 2010
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: 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.
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U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress

U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress

Date: September 17, 2010
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Description: The United States and Russia signed a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement on May 6, 2008. President Bush submitted the agreement to Congress on May 13. This report discusses key policy issues related to that agreement, including future nuclear energy cooperation with Russia, U.S.-Russian bilateral relations, nonproliferation cooperation and Russia's policies toward Iran.
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Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework

Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework

Date: September 20, 2010
Creator: Vann, Adam
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Regulating Coal Combustion Waste Disposal: Issues for Congress

Regulating Coal Combustion Waste Disposal: Issues for Congress

Date: September 21, 2010
Creator: Luther, Linda
Description: This report provides an overview of the current rulemaking for Coal combustion waste (CCW) and relevant background information that applies to that rulemaking. In particular, the report describes the nature of the waste itself and primary methods of managing it; discusses potential risks associated with its mismanagement, particularly as supported by new data EPA has gathered to support the proposed rulemaking; and provides an overview of EPA's current regulatory proposal.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress

Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress

Date: September 22, 2010
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: This report provides an overview of current issues surrounding alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles - issues discussed in further detail in other CRS reports referred to in each section.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain

Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain

Date: September 30, 2010
Creator: Humphries, Marc
Description: The concentration of production of rare earth elements (REEs) outside the United States raises the important issue of supply vulnerability. REEs are used for new energy technologies and national security applications. This report provides a discussion on the major issues and concerns of the global supply chain for rare earth elements, their major end uses, and legislative and other policy proposals that Congress may consider to improve the U.S. rare earth position.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S.-Australia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation: Issues for Congress

U.S.-Australia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation: Issues for Congress

Date: September 30, 2010
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth & Vaughn, Bruce
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Biomass Feedstocks for Biopower: Background and Selected Issues

Biomass Feedstocks for Biopower: Background and Selected Issues

Date: October 6, 2010
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi
Description: The production of bioenergy - renewable energy derived from biomass - could potentially increase national energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to rural economic growth. This report provides analyses of commonly discussed biomass feedstocks and their relative potential for power generation. Additional biopower issues - feedstock accessibility, the biomass power plant carbon-neutrality debate, and unintended consequences of legislative activities to promote bioenergy - are also discussed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: October 8, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened concerns about the region's future. Issues such as Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation, competition, or conflict. 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Agriculture-Based Biofuels: Overview and Emerging Issues

Agriculture-Based Biofuels: Overview and Emerging Issues

Date: October 14, 2010
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: This report reviews the evolution of the U.S. biofuels sector and the role that federal policy has played in shaping its development. In addition, it highlights emerging issues that are critical to the biofuels sector and of relevance to Congress.
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Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Overview and Issues

Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Overview and Issues

Date: October 14, 2010
Creator: Schnepf, Randy & Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: This report focuses specifically on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It describes the general nature of the biofuels RFS and its implementation, and 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, as well as the emergence of potential unintended consequences of this rapid expansion. This report does not address the broader public policy issue of how best to support U.S. energy policy.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Overview and Issues

Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Overview and Issues

Date: October 14, 2010
Creator: Schnepf, Randy & Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: This report focuses on the mandated minimum usage requirements - referred to as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) - whereby a minimum volume of biofuels is to be used in the national transportation fuel supply each year. It describes the general nature of the biofuels RFS and its implementation, and 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, as well as the emergence of potential unintended consequences of this rapid expansion. This report does not address the broader public policy issue of how best to support U.S. energy policy.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened concerns about the region's future. Issues such as Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation, competition, or conflict. 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Intermediate-Level Blends of Ethanol in Gasoline, and the Ethanol "Blend Wall"

Intermediate-Level Blends of Ethanol in Gasoline, and the Ethanol "Blend Wall"

Date: October 18, 2010
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: This report discusses the growing interest in the potential for ethanol to displace petroleum as a transportation fuel, as well as related issues, including current Clean Air Act (CAA) limitation on ethanol content in gasoline; the requests of ethanol producers for an increase of this limitation; and the effects the limitation has upon vehicle and engine warranties and the infrastructures of the automobile and fuel industries.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Nuclear Energy Policy

Nuclear Energy Policy

Date: October 21, 2010
Creator: Holt, Mark
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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