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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2008
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Greenhouse Gas Emission Drivers: Population, Economic Development and Growth, and Energy Use

Greenhouse Gas Emission Drivers: Population, Economic Development and Growth, and Energy Use

Date: December 31, 2008
Creator: Blodgett, John & Parker, Larry
Description: The interactions of three variables underlie debates on the issue of climate change and what responses might be justified: the magnitude and rates of change of (1) population growth, (2) incomes, and (3) intensity of greenhouse gas emissions relative to economic activities. This report examines the interrelationships of the variables to explore their implications for policies that address climate change.
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Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Perspective on the Top 20 Emitters and Developed Versus Developing Nations

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Perspective on the Top 20 Emitters and Developed Versus Developing Nations

Date: December 24, 2008
Creator: Parker, Larry & Blodgett, John
Description: This report uses the data compiled by World Resources Institute (WRI) to examine a pivotal and long-running issue surrounding U.S. climate change policy: the appropriate roles of developed and developing countries in addressing climate change.
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A Low Carbon Fuel Standard: State and Federal Legislation and Regulations

A Low Carbon Fuel Standard: State and Federal Legislation and Regulations

Date: December 23, 2008
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: This report examines the merit and potential issues of adopting a Low Carbon Fuel Standard. The report uses California as a point of reference to compare to proposed federal standards.
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Gas Hydrates: Resource and Hazard

Gas Hydrates: Resource and Hazard

Date: November 26, 2008
Creator: Folger, Peter
Description: Solid gas hydrates are a potentially huge resource of natural gas for the United States. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated that there are about 85 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of technically recoverable gas hydrates in northern Alaska. Gas hydrates are both a potential resource and a risk, representing a significant hazard to conventional oil and gas drilling and production operations. This report addresses the issue of cost and method of recovering potential gas hydrates, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of using gas hydrates as a potential energy source. Included is information on the Methane Hydrate Research and Development Act of 2000 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
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The World Bank's Clean Technology Fund (CTF)

The World Bank's Clean Technology Fund (CTF)

Date: November 24, 2008
Creator: Weiss, Martin A. & Logan, Jeffrey
Description: 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.
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Iran's Nuclear Program: Status

Iran's Nuclear Program: Status

Date: November 20, 2008
Creator: Kerr, Paul K.
Description: This report examines the background of Iran's nuclear policy, the current status of Iran's nuclear facilities, the effects of international sanctions on Iran, recent sabotages on the Iran Enrichment Program, an estimated timeline of Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities, and whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapons program.
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Water Rights Related to Oil Shale Development in the Upper Colorado River Basin

Water Rights Related to Oil Shale Development in the Upper Colorado River Basin

Date: November 18, 2008
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Description: 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.
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Power Plants: Characteristics and Costs

Power Plants: Characteristics and Costs

Date: November 13, 2008
Creator: Kaplan, Stan
Description: This report analyzes the factors that determine the cost of electricity from new power plants. These factors — including construction costs, fuel expense, environmental regulations, and financing costs — can all be affected by government energy, environmental, and economic policies. The report provides projections of the possible cost of power from new fossil, nuclear, and renewable plants built in 2015, illustrating how different assumptions, such as for the availability of federal incentives, change the cost rankings of the technologies.
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U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Rising Oil Prices

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

Date: November 13, 2008
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: Petroleum prices rose sharply in the first half of 2008, at one time reaching more than $140 per barrel of crude oil. Since July, however, petroleum prices and import volumes have fallen at a historically rapid pace; in November, prices of crude oil fell below $55 per barrel. The fall in the cost of energy imports combined with the drop in import volumes as a result of the slowdown in economic activity has reversed the trend of rising energy imports costs and will sharply reduce the overall costs of U.S. energy imports for the rest of 2008. This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the rising oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit.
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Drilling in the Great Lakes: Background and Issues

Drilling in the Great Lakes: Background and Issues

Date: November 11, 2008
Creator: Sheikh, Pervaze A.; Humphries, Marc; Ramseur, Jonathan L. & Vann, Adam
Description: This report provides background information on historical and current drilling practices in the Great Lakes, and statistics on oil and natural gas production, where data are available. It describes state laws regarding drilling in the Great Lakes and analyzes the environmental, socioeconomic, and legal aspects of drilling in or under the Great Lakes.
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Cellulosic Biofuels: Analysis of Policy Issues for Congress

Cellulosic Biofuels: Analysis of Policy Issues for Congress

Date: November 7, 2008
Creator: Capehart, Tom
Description: This report discusses Cellulosic biofuels, which are produced from cellulose derived from renewable biomass. They are thought by many to hold the key to increased benefits from renewable biofuels because they are made from low-cost, diverse, non-food feedstocks, and could also potentially decrease the fossil energy required to produce ethanol, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions.
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Wind Energy: Offshore Permitting

Wind Energy: Offshore Permitting

Date: October 22, 2008
Creator: Vann, Adam
Description: This report discusses the disputes over Corps jurisdiction prior to enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 as well as the current law applicable to siting offshore wind facilities.
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Natural Gas Passenger Vehicles: Availability, Cost, and Performance

Natural Gas Passenger Vehicles: Availability, Cost, and Performance

Date: October 20, 2008
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: 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.
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U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Rising Oil Prices

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

Date: October 10, 2008
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: Petroleum prices have continued to rise sharply in 2008, at one time reaching more than $140 per barrel of crude oil. At the same time the average monthly volume of imports of energy-related petroleum products has fallen slightly. The combination of sharply rising prices and a slightly lower level of imports of energy-related petroleum products translates into an escalating cost for those imports. The prices of energy imports have been on a steady rise since summer of 2007, defying the pattern of declining energy import prices in the fall. This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the rising oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit.
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Issues Affecting Tidal, Wave, and In-Stream Generation Projects

Issues Affecting Tidal, Wave, and In-Stream Generation Projects

Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Lane, Nic
Description: This report provides an overview of developments and considerations regarding wave, tidal, and in-stream energy generation technology. It summarizes federal involvement in the regulation of this new industry and highlights current issues in the field.
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Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Import Terminals: Siting, Safety, and Regulation

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Import Terminals: Siting, Safety, and Regulation

Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W. & Vann, Adam S.
Description: This report provides an overview of recent industry proposals for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals. The report summarizes LNG hazards and the industry's safety record. It discusses federal laws and regulations related to LNG terminal siting with a focus on the authorities of key federal agencies and safety provisions in the permitting of onshore facilities. The report reviews controversial safety issues in recent LNG siting proceedings, such as safety zones, marine hazards, hazard modeling, and remote siting. The report outlines policy issues related to LNG terminal safety, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC's) LNG siting authority, regional LNG siting, "remote" siting requirements in federal regulations, state permitting requirements, terrorism, and other issues.
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Wave, Tidal, and In-Stream Energy Projects: Which Federal Agency Has the Lead?

Wave, Tidal, and In-Stream Energy Projects: Which Federal Agency Has the Lead?

Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Lane, Nic
Description: Developments in wave, tidal, and in-stream energy generation technologies -- also referred to as hydrokinetic or marine energy -- are beginning to gain momentum. At the same time, their regulatory status is still evolving, as shown by recent changes in law aimed at clarifying hte federal role in ocean wave and renewable energy. Two federal agencies currently appear to have a lead role in offshore renewable energy projects -- the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
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Administering Green Programs in Congress: Issues and Options

Administering Green Programs in Congress: Issues and Options

Date: October 6, 2008
Creator: Straus, Jacob R.
Description: This report discusses "green" programs and the higher profile they have gained in the 110th Congress. "Green" programs are those designed to create an environmentally friendly work environment and conserve energy. This report discusses initiatives and policy options that would improve the "greening" process on Capitol Hill.
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Extending NASA's Exemption from the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act

Extending NASA's Exemption from the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act

Date: October 1, 2008
Creator: Behrens, Carl & Nikitin, Mary Beth
Description: This report discusses the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 (INA), which was enacted to help stop foreign transfers to Iran of weapons of mass destruction, missile technology, and advanced conventional weapons technology, particularly from Russia.
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The U.S. Trade Deficit, The Dollar, and The Price of Oil

The U.S. Trade Deficit, The Dollar, and The Price of Oil

Date: September 29, 2008
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: This report analyzes the relationship between the dollar and the price of oil and how the two might interact. This report provides an assessment of the impact a range of prices of imported oil could have on the U.S. trade deficit.
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Energy Tax Policy: History and Current Issues

Energy Tax Policy: History and Current Issues

Date: September 26, 2008
Creator: Lazzari, Salvatore
Description: This report discusses the history, current posture, and outlook for federal energy tax policy. It also discusses current energy tax proposals and major energy tax provisions enacted in the 109th Congress.
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The Manhattan Project, the Apollo Program, and Federal Energy Technology R&D Programs: A Comparative Analysis

The Manhattan Project, the Apollo Program, and Federal Energy Technology R&D Programs: A Comparative Analysis

Date: September 24, 2008
Creator: Stine, Deborah D.
Description: This report compares and contrasts the goals of, and the investments in, three research and development (R&D) initiatives, which may provide useful insights for Congress as it assesses and debates the nation's energy policy.
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The Global Nuclear Detection Architecture: Issues for Congress

The Global Nuclear Detection Architecture: Issues for Congress

Date: September 23, 2008
Creator: Shea, Dana A.
Description: This report discusses the global nuclear detection architecture which is a complicated system of systems. This report addresses only the global nuclear detection architecture, not programs focusing on events prior or subsequent to the detection opportunity.
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The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): Program and Funding

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): Program and Funding

Date: September 18, 2008
Creator: Perl, Libby
Description: This report describes appropriations of Low-Income Home Energy Assistance program (LIHEAP) funds for FY2008 and FY2007. It also discusses current issues and legislation related to LIHEAP. The report also discusses LIHEAP rules, including household eligibility and how funds may be used, and presents the most recent data available from HHS regarding household characteristics and benefit levels. Finally, the last section discusses how each category of LIHEAP funds is distributed to states, as well as a breakdown of funds to the states during the last several fiscal years.
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