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 Collection: Environmental Policy Collection
Biomass Feedstocks for Biopower: Background and Selected Issues
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.
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.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
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.
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects: Authorization and Appropriations
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attracts congressional attention because its projects can have significant local and regional economic benefits and environmental effects, in addition to their water resource development purposes. This report provides an overview of the Corps civil works program. It covers the congressional authorization and appropriation process, the standard project development process, and other Corps activities and authorities. It also includes an Appendix on the evolution of Corps civil works missions and authorities and a description of the limits on the Corps' role in levee accreditation and improvements for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force
This report provides recommendations for a strengthened governance structure to provide sustained, high-level, and coordinated attention to ocean, coastal, and Great Lake issues with a framework that addresses conservation, economic activity, user conflict, and sustainable use of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources.
Public Benefit Funds
This map shows states with funds dedicated to supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
Executive Order - Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes
This order establishes a national policy to ensure the protection, maintenance, and restoration of the health of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources, enhance the sustainability of ocean and coastal economies, preserve maritime heritage, support sustainable uses and access, provide for adaptive management to enhance understanding of and capacity to respond to climate change and ocean acidification, and coordinate with national security and foreign policy interests. This order also provides for the development of coastal and marine spatial plans that build upon and improve existing Federal, State, tribal, local, and regional decision making and planning processes.
Net Metering Programs
This map shows states with net metering schemes to measure a site's electricity generation versus a site's electricity production, with customers only paying for the net electricity consumed.
Aligning National Environmental Policy Act processes with environmental management systems: A Guide for NEPA and EMS Practitioners
This guidebook for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Environmental Management System (EMS) practitioners identifies elements of an EMS that can improve NEPA implementation in order to promote conditions under which humans and nature exist in productive harmony.
Annex VI to the Protocol of Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty : message from the President of the United States transmitting Annex VI on liability arising from environmental emergencies to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (Annex VI), adopted on June 14, 2005
This amendment to the Antarctic Treaty deals with preventing and managing environmental emergencies in the Antarctica Treaty area.
Agreement on conservation of albatrosses and petrels : message from the President of the United States transmitting Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, with annexes, done at Canberra, June 19, 2001.
This treaty builds on the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals by adding specific protections to albatrosses and petrels.
Mandates and Incentives Promoting Biofuels
This map shows states that incentivize ethanol production and use through.
International Convention on Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships, 2001 : message from the President of the United States transmitting International Convention on Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships, 2001 (the "Convention")
This treaty deals with technologies for preventing the growth of marine life on ship hulls. The anti-fouling systems improve fuel efficiency, but some of these systems leach biocides into the water. This treaty prevents the use of the biocide in anti-fouling systems.
Climate Action Plans
This map depicts states that have completed plans to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States
This brochure highlights a report that summarizes the science of climate change, and the impacts of climate change on the United States.
Financial Incentives for CCS
This map shows states that provide financial incentives for deploying carbon capture and storage technology.
Appliance Efficiency Standards
This map shows states with energy efficiency standards for electrical appliances.
Climate Change and Ecosystems Summary of Recent Findings
This fact sheet summarizes information from a recent assessment of possible adaptation options to protect climate-sensitive ecosystems in the United States.
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress
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.
Green Infrastructure in Arid and Semi-Arid Climates
This brochure describes the benefits of adopting "green infrastructure" design principles to communities in arid and semi-arid regions.
The State of the Hudson 2009
This report describes the environmental quality of the Hudson River and its watershed, including issues such as pollution, population growth, and biodiversity. The report also describes the habitats of estuaries, watersheds, and rivers in general.
Impacts of Comprehensive Climate and Energy Policy Options on the U.S. Economy
This study compiles and updates the findings of 16 comprehensive state climate action plans and extrapolates the results to the nation. The study then takes those results and using a widely accepted econometric model projects the national impact of these policies on employment, incomes, gross domestic product (GDP) and consumer energy prices. Finally, using the bottom-up data developed by the states and aggregated here, the study models the national impact of major features of the Kerry-Lieberman climate bill under consideration in Congress in 2010. These state action plans and supporting assessments were proposed by over 1,500 stakeholders and technical work group experts appointed by 16 governors and state legislatures to address climate, energy and economic needs through comprehensive, fact-based, consensus-driven, climate action planning processes conducted over the past five years with facilitative and technical assistance by the Center for Climate Strategies. Findings show potential national improvements from implementation of a top set of 23 major sector-based policies and measures drawn from state plans.
Incorporating biodiversity considerations into environmental impact analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act
This report outlines general concepts that underlie biological diversity analysis and management, and discusses methods for considering biodiversity in current and future NEPA analyses.
Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook
This report discusses likely energy prices and weather over the winter of 2010-2011.
Proposed National Objectives, Principles and Standards for Water and Related Resources Implementation Studies
This document reflects planning efforts by the Executive Office of the President to design federal policy for the use of water resources.
Green Jobs Training: A Catalog of Training Opportunities for Green Infrastructure Training
This catalog provides information on training and certification opportunities for jobs and careers categorized as part of the "green economy." The catalog includes federal and state listings.
State Adaptation Plans
This map shows states with plans for adapting to global climate change.
Renewable Energy Credit Tracking System
This map shows states that belong to regional programs with standards that require a certain percentage of renewable energy production.
Regional Initiatives
This map shows states that participate in regional initiatives to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and increase generation of renewable energy.
Residential Building Energy Codes
This map shows states with minimum levels of energy efficiency for residential buildings.
Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards
This map shows states that have adopted or are planning to adopt California's vehicle standards.
VMT-Related Policies and Incentives
This map shows states with policies to curb the climb of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by encouraging carpooling, alternative transportation, and compact land development.
Renewable & Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards
This map shows states with standards requiring electric utilities to generate a percentage of electricity from renewable energy sources.
Roadmap for Restoring Ecosystem Resiliency and Sustainability
This document describes the economic and environmental value of the gulf coast environment and plans by federal and state governments to restore and protect wetlands and barrier islands.
Emissions Caps for Electricity
This map shows states that cap greenhouse gas emissions through performance standards or through cap and trade systems.
The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Healthy Homes
This guide describes steps that people can take to protect themselves from disease, disability, and injury that may result from health hazards in the home. The guide also describes society-wide measures to improve public health through healthy homes.
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan
This action plan articulates the most significant ecosystem problems for the Great Lakes, and describes efforts to address them. The five areas are toxic substances, invasive species, health and pollution, wildlife and habitat preservation and restoration, and finally a component that covers accountability and evaluation.
Low Carbon Fuel Standard
This map identifies states that are either considering, or have already adopted a low carbon fuel standard.
Building Standards for State Buildings
This map shows states with energy efficiency standards for government buildings.
Greenhouse Gas Reporting and Registries
This map shows states with common systems for consistent and transparent reporting of greenhouse gas emissions.
Green Pricing Programs
This map shows states that allow utilities customers to pay a premium price to guarantee that a percentage of their energy comes from renewable sources.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets
This map shows states with greenhouse gas emissions targets.
Energy Efficiency Standards and Targets
This map shows states with policies to promote efficient generation, transmission, and use of energy.
The Sustainable Sites Initiative: Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks
This guide describes how to develop a site in a way that does the least damage to the ecosystem, and provides maximum ecological benefits, including improved air quality, storm water treatment, and energy efficiency.
Recovery Through Retrofit
This report describes recommendations for federal action to address barriers to retrofitting home residences for energy efficiency.
Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Policies
This map shows state laws and regulations that affect medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The policies include tax incentives, fines, guidelines, and grants.
Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Overview and Issues
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.
Work of the United States Forest Service.
Discusses forest depletion and provides a history of forest conservation efforts by the United States government. Describes the work of the the Civilian Conservation Corps and other emergency projects, and discusses forest and range research.
Regional Highlights from Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States
This fact sheet describes climate change scenarios in Midwest region of the United States.
Regional Highlights from Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States
This fact sheet describes climate change scenarios in the Southeast region of the United States.