Congressional Research Service Reports - 113 Matching Results

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International Climate Change: A Negotiations Side-by-Side

Description: This report discusses various cooperative international efforts to address the issue of global climate change. The two major international agreements discussed in a side-by-side comparison are the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2010 Copenhagen Accord. The report discusses how many observers are hoping that initiatives carried out under the Copenhagen Accord may help bridge divides between the various tracks and economic groupings established under the Kyoto Protocol.
Date: November 18, 2010
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Description: This report discusses recent legislative initiatives seeking to establish climate change impacts as a common law nuisance. The report explains what private and public nuisances are, the issues faced by policymakers when litigating a climate-change/nuisance suit, and also discusses five climate-chance/nuisance suits that are now or formerly active, as a basis of comparison. The report also explores arguments of those both for and against addressing the complex issue of climate change through common law suits.
Date: November 19, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geoengineering: Governance and Technology Policy

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.
Date: January 10, 2011
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi; Lattanzio, Richard K. & Barbour, Emily C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

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.
Date: October 8, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

International Climate Change Financing: Needs, Sources, and Delivery Methods

Description: This report discusses the domestic and international efforts to increase foreign assistance to address climate change. Proponents maintain that such assistance could help promote low-emissions and high-growth economic development in lower-income countries, while simultaneously protecting the more vulnerable countries from the effects of a changing climate. The fundamental dispute concerning international financing for climate change centers upon who should pay for it and how.
Date: May 5, 2011
Creator: Lattanzio, Richard K. & Leggett, Jane A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Description: There are five common law/nuisance suits addressing climate change now or formerly active. Of the three no longer active, none were successful. Of the two still-active cases, one has recently leaped to center stage because the Supreme Court agreed to hear it. In Connecticut v. American Electric Power Co., Inc., eight states sued five utility companies alleged to be emitting the most GHGs in the nation through their coal-fired electric power plants. Following a Second Circuit decision, the Supreme Court agreed on December 6, 2010, to resolve threshold issues in this case.
Date: May 9, 2011
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS): A Primer

Description: This report is a brief summary of what CCS is, how it is supposed to work, why it has gained the interest and support of some members of Congress, and what some of the challenges are to its implementation and deployment across the United States.
Date: May 14, 2012
Creator: Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Canadian Oil Sands: Life-Cycle Assessments of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Description: 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.
Date: May 15, 2012
Creator: Lattanzio, Richard K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI): Budget Authority and Request, FY2010-FY2013

Description: The United States supports international financial assistance for global climate change initiatives in developing countries. The Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI) aims to integrate climate change considerations into U.S. foreign assistance through a full range of bilateral, multilateral, and private sector mechanisms to foster low-carbon growth, promote sustainable and climate-resilient societies, and reduce emissions from deforestation and land degradation. The GCCI is implemented through programs at three "core" agencies—the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)—and is funded through the Administration's Executive Budget, Function 150 account, for State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. As Congress considers potential authorizations and/or appropriations for activities administered through the GCCI, it may have questions concerning U.S. agency initiatives and current bilateral and multilateral programs that address global climate change.
Date: March 15, 2012
Creator: Lattanzio, Richard K.
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

Canadian Oil Sands: Life-Cycle Assessments of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Description: This report discusses basic methodology of life-cycle assessments and compares several publicly-available assessments of life-cycle emissions data for Canadian oil sands crudes against each other and against those of other global reference crudes. It also includes a survey of the scientific literature and the findings of the State Department's Keystone XL Project Envoronmental Impact Statement, and concludes with a discussion of tools for policymakers who are interested in using the assessments to investigate the potential impacts of U.S. energy policy choices onthe environment.
Date: June 18, 2012
Creator: Lattanzio, Richard K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?

Description: This report assesses the variables involved in determining whether or not biopower (i.e., electricity generated from biomass) is a carbon-neutral alternative to fossil fuels as a way to help meet meet U.S. energy demands and reduce U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It includes information about the biomass carbon cycle, GHG accounting for biopower production, recent developments affecting the assessment, and overview of whether or not it can be considered carbon neutral, and legislative implications.
Date: July 6, 2011
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?

Description: This report assesses the variables involved in determining whether or not biopower (i.e., electricity generated from biomass) is a carbon-neutral alternative to fossil fuels as a way to help meet meet U.S. energy demands and reduce U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It includes information about the biomass carbon cycle, GHG accounting for biopower production, recent developments affecting the assessment, and overview of whether or not it can be considered carbon neutral, and legislative implications.
Date: January 25, 2011
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change and Existing Law: A Survey of Legal Issues Past, Present, and Future

Description: This report surveys existing law for legal issues that have arisen, or may arise in the future, on account of climate change and government responses thereto. These include greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, liability for harms caused by climate change, water shortages, sea level rise, natural disasters, and how immigration/refugee law does not cover relocation due to climate change impacts.
Date: July 23, 2012
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: This report presents a chronology of major federal agency actions related to environmental concerns following the decision of Massachusetts v. EPA; it particularly looks at actions of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In Massachusetts v. EPA, the Supreme 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).
Date: April 6, 2011
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Air Quality: EPA's 2012 Proposed Changes to the Particulate Matter (PM) Standard

Description: This report summarizes the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) June 2012 proposed changes to the particulate matter (PM) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and includes comparisons with previous (1997) and current (2006) promulgated and proposed standards. Key actions leading up to the June 2012 proposal, and potential issues and concerns associated with the proposal to strengthen the PM2.5 annual standard, are also highlighted.
Date: September 5, 2012
Creator: Esworthy, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

2006 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5): Designating Nonattainment Areas

Description: This report focuses primarily on the NAAQS implementation process for designating geographical nonattainment areas with respect to the tightening of the PM2.5 standards under the 2006 particulates NAAQS, including comparisons with the final designations under the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. Also included is a brief overview of states' subsequent obligations for developing and submitting implementation plans (SIPs) for attaining or maintaining compliance with the NAAQS.
Date: October 25, 2012
Creator: Esworthy, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Air Issues in the 112th Congress

Description: Report providing a brief overview of the climate change, power plant, and air quality standard issues, as well as information on other Clean Air Act issues that the 112th Congress has addressed.
Date: September 4, 2012
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department