Congressional Research Service Reports - 12 Matching Results

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Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision: A Chronology

Description: This report presents a chronology of major federal agency actions, mainly by the Environmental Protection Agencey (EPA), in the wake of Massachusetts v. EPA. In this case, the Court held that greenhouse gases (GHGs), widely viewed as contributing to climate change, constitute “air pollutants” as that phrase is used in the Clean Air Act (CAA). As a result, said the Court, the U.S. EPA had improperly denied a petition seeking CAA regulation of GHGs from new motor vehicles by saying the agency lacked authority over such emissions.
Date: February 2, 2011
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cars, Trucks, and Climate: EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases from Mobile Sources

Description: As Congress and the Administration considered new legislation to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change over the last year and a half (a process that has now stalled), the Environmental Protection Agency simultaneously began to exercise its existing authority under the Clean Air Act to set standards for GHG emissions. The Administration has made clear that its preference would be for Congress to address the climate issue through new legislation. Nevertheless, it is moving forward on several fronts to define how the Clean Air Act will be used and to promulgate regulations. This report covers the steps that the Administration is taking on this topic.
Date: November 2, 2010
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Global Climate Change

Description: This report discusses the effect of human activities on global climate change. Human activities, particularly burning of fossil fuels, have increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and other trace gases, including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), methane, and nitrous oxide.
Date: April 2, 2003
Creator: Justus, John R. & Fletcher, Susan R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cruise Ship Pollution: Background, Laws and Regulations, and Key Issues

Description: This report describes the several types of waste streams that cruise ships may discharge and emit. It identifies the complex body of international and domestic laws that address pollution from cruise ships. It then describes federal and state legislative activity concerning cruise ships in Alaskan waters and activities in a few other states, as well as current industry initiatives to manage cruise ship pollution.
Date: May 2, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: A Primer

Description: This report focuses on the environmental quality of water resources as affected by animal agriculture, specifically animal waste, which can harm water quality through surface runoff, direct discharges, spills, and leaching into soil and groundwater. This report also discusses the contribution of emissions from animal feeding operations (AFO), enterprises where animals are raised in confinement, to air pollution.
Date: February 2, 2006
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ocean Acidification

Description: This report discusses the increasing concern, within the scientific community, that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could detrimentally alter marine ecosystems. The report discusses how ocean acidification happens, its possible outcomes, as well as natural and human responses that could possibly limit or reduce the rate of the process.
Date: April 2, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change: Design Approaches for a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program

Description: This report explores strategies to control greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and options to address the cost issue in four parts. First, the basic economic tradeoff between controlling the quantity of GHG emissions and the program's compliance costs is introduced and explained. Second, the five dimensions of the cost issue that have arisen so far in the climate change debate are identified and discussed. Third, a representative sample of proposed approaches to address cost concerns is compared and analyzed according to the five cost dimensions identified previously. Finally, the proposed options are summarized and opportunities to combine or merge different approaches are analyzed.
Date: June 2, 2008
Creator: Parker, Larry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ocean Acidification

Description: With increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the extent of effects on the ocean and marine resources is an increasing concern. One aspect of this issue is the ongoing process whereby seawater becomes acidified (i.e., ocean acidification) as more CO2 dissolves in it, causing hydrogen ion concentration in seawater to increase. While not yet fully understood, the ecological and economic consequences of ocean acidification could be substantial. Congress is beginning to focus attention on better understanding ocean acidification and determining how this concern might be addressed.
Date: July 2, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA's Air Compliance Agreement

Description: In an effort to collect scientifically credible data regarding the effect of animal agriculture on water resources (specifically animal waste and emissions from animal feeding operations (AFO), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in January 2005 announced the Air Compliance Agreement. The agreement is intended to produce air quality monitoring data on AFO emissions during a two-year study, while at the same time protecting participants through a “safe harbor” from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws.
Date: February 2, 2006
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality and Motor Vehicles: An Analysis of Current and Proposed Emission Standards

Description: The extent to which emissions from motor vehicles and the amount of sulfur in commercial gasoline should be regulated has become a controversial issue. The EPA is proposing national limits on gasoline sulfur levels which would become effective in 2004. This report provides background information on the regulation of vehicle emissions in the United States, analyzes key elements of the National Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) program and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Tier 2 proposal, summarizes major views on the proposal that have been expressed by the automobile industry, the oil refining industry, and some environmental organizations, and discusses relevant legislative activity in the 106th Congress.
Date: September 2, 1999
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Role of Offsets in a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cap-and-Trade Program: Potential Benefits and Concerns

Description: This report discusses offsets in relation to a greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program. The first section of this report provides an overview of offsets by discussing different types of offset projects and describing how the offsets would likely be used in an emission reduction program. The next section discusses the supply of offsets that might be available in an emission trading program. The subsequent sections examine the potential offset benefits and the potential concerns associated with offsets. The final section offers considerations for Congress.
Date: June 2, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department