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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
Electricity Transmission Cost Allocation
The report makes several observations concerning current cost allocation policy for electricity transmission at the federal and state levels. The report also reviews several recent developments in the cost allocation area. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93838/
EPA's Proposed Greenhouse Gas Regulations for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report summarizes the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) proposal regarding greenhouse gas regulations. In addition to discussing details of the proposed rule, the report addresses a number of questions regarding the reasons for the proposal; the EPA's authority under Section 111 of the CAA; the EPA's previous experience using that authority; the steps the agency must take to finalize the proposed rule; and various other background questions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332959/
EPA's Proposed Greenhouse Gas Regulations for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report summarizes the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) proposal regarding greenhouse gas regulations. In addition to discussing details of the proposed rule, the report addresses a number of questions regarding the reasons for the proposal; the EPA's authority under Section 111 of the CAA; the EPA's previous experience using that authority; the steps the agency must take to finalize the proposed rule; and various other background questions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332998/
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/
The Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline: Status and Current Policy Issues
This report provides a brief review of efforts to develop and construct a natural gas pipeline from Prudhoe Bay, a status report on recent efforts to proceed, and an analysis of major relevant policy issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462952/
Federal Lands and Natural Resources: Overview and Selected Issues for the 113th Congress
This report introduces some of the broad themes and issues Congress considers when addressing federal land policy and resource management. Federal land policy includes questions about the extent and location of the federal estate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491145/
Regulating Coal Combustion Waste Disposal: Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491656/
Mexico's Oil and Gas Sector: Background, Reform Efforts, and Implications for the United States
This report provides an overview of Pemex and the content and prospects for Mexico's energy reforms, before discussing specific issues facing Mexico's oil and gas industry. It then examines the U.S.-Mexico energy relationship through the lenses of trade and energy cooperation. It concludes by suggesting several oversight issues for Congress related to what the enactment of energy reform might portend for Mexico's economic development, the U.S. energy matrix, and bilateral or North American energy cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491548/
Advanced Vehicle Technologies: Energy, Environment, and Development Issues
This report discusses four major vehicle technologies — electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and fuel cell vehicles — as well as advanced component technologies. Each technology is discussed in terms of cost, fueling and maintenance infrastructure, and performance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462526/
Petroleum Refining: Economic Performance and Challenges for the Future
This report discusses the petroleum refining industry and its relation to the economy. Along with volatile changes in crude oil prices, the industry has faced evolving health, safety, and environmental requirements which have changed and multiplied product specifications and required capital investment in refineries. This report also seeks to describe the recent performance of the refining industry, to evaluate the structural changes that are occurring in the industry, and to analyze the nature and effects of the challenges confronting the industry. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463209/
Transportation Fuel Taxes: Impacts of a Repeal or Moratorium
The report includes an introduction regarding the increase in crude oil and refined product prices and discusses the proposals to offset effects of higher crude oil prices and the impact on markets and prices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462186/
Natural Gas Markets: Overview and Policy Issues
This report examines current conditions and trends in the U.S. natural gas markets. Key market elements examined include prices, consumption, production, imports, and infrastructure. Expectations about the future, as reflected in recent official forecasts, are also incorporated here. Furthermore, the report reviews key factors likely to affect market outcomes. These factors include weather, the economy, oil prices, and infrastructure development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463520/
Electricity Transmission Cost Allocation
This report analyzes recent developments concerning transmission cost allocation leading up to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Order No. 1000, as well as the contents of the order and their potential impact on the transmission planning process in the future. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463274/
The Department of Energy's FY1996 Budget
This issue brief describes the FY1996 request for DOE's major programs, its implications, and congressional action on the DOE budget. Table 1 at the end of the issue brief highlights the FY1996 DOE budget request. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs329/
Appropriations for FY1999: Energy and Water Development
Appropriations are one part of a complex federal budget process that includes budget resolutions, appropriations (regular, supplemental, and continuing) bills, rescissions, and budget reconciliation bills. This report is a guide to one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress passes each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Energy and Water Development Appropriations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs668/
The Department of Energy's FY1998 Budget
This issue brief describes the FY1998 request for DOE's major programs, its implications, and congressional action on the DOE budget. Table 1 at the end of the issue brief highlights the FY1998 DOE budget request. House and Senate marks and the final budget enacted will be included in revised versions as the appropriations bills move through the Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs445/
Critical Infrastructure: The National Asset Database
The purpose of this report is to discuss the National Asset Database: what is in it, how it is populated, what the Database apparently is, what it is not, and how it is intended to be used. The report also discusses some of the issues on which Congress could focus its oversight, including appropriation bill language. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9556/
Urea-Formaldehyde Foam Insulation: Health Effects and Regulation
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9572/
Urea-Formaldehyde Foam Insulation: Health Effects and Regulation
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9570/
European Union Wind and Solar Electricity Policies: Overview and Considerations
The subject matter covered within this report is European Union (EU) renewable electricity generation--specifically onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227901/
Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83959/
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/
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/metadc31363/
Navy Ship Propulsion Technologies: Options for Reducing Oil Use - Background for Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10854/
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/
Market-Based Environmental Management: Issues in Implementation
Increasingly, efforts to protect integral features of the natural environment that are essential to human well being face a double challenge. First, the magnitude of some conventional and emerging threats to environmental quality is growing, despite solid progress in controlling some causes. This is particularly the concern on a global scale in terms of atmospheric changes and loss of biological diversity. Second, easily-implemented uniform control methods using feasible technologies or other direct regulatory approaches are already in place for many pollution and resource management problems in the United States. Additional progress with so-called command and control policies can be expensive and disruptive, and thus counter productive to overall economic well being. This type of dilemma is common where environmental deterioration results from diffuse and complex causes inherent in technically-advanced high-consumption industrial societies such as the U.S. Solutions to these types of environmental problems are complicated by the diffuse benefits which obscures the net gains of additional controls that have concentrated and highly visible costs. Given this double bind, many policy analysts and academics have for years advocated more cost-effective and flexible approaches relying on market forces to further some environmental management objectives. Although market-based theory and practical environmental policy are still far apart, the incremental approach to environmental policymaking since the late seventies has resulted in some market-type innovations within traditional regulatory frameworks at all levels of government. The most prominent examples are the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) air emissions trading program and the recently enacted sulfur dioxide allowance trading program under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26038/
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/
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/
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/
Calculation of Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the Renewable Fuel Standard
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA, P.L. 110-140), significantly expanded the renewable fuel standard (RFS) established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005, P.L. 109-58). The RFS requires the use of 9.0 billion gallons of renewable fuel in 2008, increasing to 36 billion gallons in 2022. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87141/
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 IAEA board and the Security Council. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87128/
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/metadc272009/
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/metadc85454/
Canadian Oil Sands: Life-Cycle Assessments of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Recent congressional interest in U.S. energy policy has focused in part on ways through which the United States could secure more economical and reliable crude oil resources both domestically and internationally. Many forecasters identify petroleum refined from Canadian oil sands as one possible solution. This report discusses conclusions revealed from a survey of available literature on the matter, particularly in regards to Greenhouse Gas and Well-to-Tank emissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85434/
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 IAEA board and the Security Council. It will be updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85374/
Middle East Free Trade Area: Progress Report
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10842/
Natural Gas Passenger Vehicles: Availability, Cost, and Performance
Higher gasoline prices and concerns over U.S. oil dependence have raised interest in natural gas vehicles (NGVs). Use of NGVs for personal transportation has focused on compressed natural gas (CNG) as an alternative to gasoline. Consumer interest has grown, both for new NGVs as well as for conversions of existing personal vehicles to run on CNG. This report finds that the market for natural gas vehicles will likely remain limited unless the differential between natural gas and gasoline prices remains high in order to offset the higher purchase price for an NGV. Conversions of existing vehicles will also continue to be restricted unless the Clean Air Act (CAA) is amended or if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) makes changes to its enforcement of the CAA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10808/
The World Bank's Clean Technology Fund (CTF)
The United States Treasury has led efforts to create a $10 billion Clean Technology Fund (CTF), located at the World Bank, to help fund deployment of clean technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing economies. The Bush administration has asked Congress to authorize and appropriate U.S. funding of $2 billion over three years (FY2009 to FY2011). While many Members of Congress have expressed support for the CTF, others have raised concerns, primarily with respect to whether the CTF should finance carbon-based energy projects. To date, Congress has not passed legislation authorizing or appropriating U.S. contributions to the Fund. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10826/
Water Rights Related to Oil Shale Development in the Upper Colorado River Basin
Concerns over fluctuating oil prices and declining petroleum production worldwide have revived interest in oil shale as a potential resource. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58) identified oil shale as a strategically important domestic resource and directed the Department of the Interior to promote commercial development. Oil shale development would require significant amounts of water, however, and water supply in the Colorado River Basin, where several oil shale reserves are located, is limited. This report will provide a brief overview of water rights in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, including changes that may be made to currently held water rights and the possibility for abandonment of unused water rights. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10824/
Why Some Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Are Not Sold Domestically
Report that discusses reasons why some fuel-efficient vehicles are not sold in the U.S. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227780/
Diesel Fuel and Engines: An Analysis of EPA's New Regulations
This report reviews the final regulations on diesel fuel and diesel engine emissions signed by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner December 21, 2000 and promulgated January 18, 2001. This report examines the rule’s potential impacts on fuel supply, summarizes the issues related to pollution controls, discusses potential impacts on the economy, and discusses issues raised by the timing and implementation schedule of the proposed rule. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1670/
Department of Energy Abolition? Implications for the Nuclear Weapons Program
This report considers how abolition might affect the U.S. nuclear weapons program. It provides background on the weapons program and the debate on what organization should control it; summarizes the debate over managing the program, including criticisms of DOE’s management and issues in deciding where to place the program, and presents four options for the weapons program. It considers pros and cons for each option. This report should be of value for understanding consequences of alternative organizational “homes” for the weapons program for those considering legislation to abolish DOE. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs195/
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Import Terminals: Siting, Safety and Regulation
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10093/
Sport Utility Vehicles, Mini-Vans, and Light Trucks: An Overview of Fuel Economy and Emissions Standards
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10017/
Royalty Relief for U.S. Deepwater Oil and Gas Leases
The most common incentives for offshore oil and gas development include various forms of royalty relief. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to grant royalty relief to promote increased oil and gas production. The Deep Water Royalty Relief Act of 1995 (DWRRA) expanded the Secretary's royalty relief authority in the Gulf of Mexico outer continental shelf (OCS). This report outlines the ongoing controversy over royalty relief, related legislation, and related court rulings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10686/
Department of Energy Research and Development Budget for FY2001: Description and Analysis
This report focuses on the R&D programs. It divides the programs into four categories: energy resources R&D, science, national security R&D, and environmental management R&D. Those categories, which approximate the way DOE has divided up its programs, are set up to keep similar research activities together.1 This arrangement is somewhat different from the way the R&D budget is approached by the congressional appropriations committees. This report gives a description of the programs within each category including their research objectives and the activities where significant budget changes were requested for FY2001. It then describes the request and congressional actions on the request. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1694/
U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10753/
Delegation of the Federal Power of Eminent Domain to Nonfederal Entities
Congress has on several occasions delegated its power of eminent domain to entities outside the federal government -- public and private corporations, interstate compact agencies, state and local governments, and even individuals. The constitutionality of such delegation, and of the exercise of such power by even private delegates, is today beyond dispute. However, among delegates with both federal and private characteristics, there is some subjectivity to deciding which to list in a report limited to "nonfederal entities." For delegatees of federal eminent domain power listed here, delegations since 1920 have primarily been to Amtrak, hydroelectric facilities (for dams and reservoirs), and entities engaged in the movement of electricity, gas, and petroleum (the last one expired), and for interstate bridges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10746/
Coal Excise Tax Refunds: United States v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co.
In 1998, a U.S. district court held that the imposition of the coal excise tax, or black lung excise tax, on coal destined for export was unconstitutional. The process of refunding the tax has been controversial. This is because some coal producers and exporters have attempted to bypass the limitations in the Internal Revenue Code's refund scheme for bringing suit under the Export Clause in the Court of Federal Claims, seeking damages from the United States in the amount of coal excise taxes paid. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals held the court had jurisdiction under the Tucker Act to hear the suits and allowed them as an alternative to the Code's refund process. However, in a 2008 decision, United States v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co., the Supreme Court unanimously held that taxpayers must comply with the Code's administrative refund process before bringing suit. Meanwhile, H.R. 1762 and S. 373 would provide an alternative method for taxpayers to receive coal excise tax refunds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10743/