Congressional Research Service Reports - 357 Matching Results

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Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships

Description: This report provides information regarding pollution from ships and port facilities; discusses some of the measures being implemented and considered by local, state, and federal regulatory agencies; discusses the efforts to ratify and to strengthen Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL); and describes legislation in Congress to control emissions from ships by amending the Clean Air Act (CAA).
Date: February 24, 2009
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Air After the CAIR Decision: Back to Square One?

Description: This report discusses the potential impact on communities attempting to achieve National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and the impact on mercury emissions could be substantial, and has prompted some to call for congressional action to address the issue.
Date: February 9, 2009
Creator: McCarthy, James E.; Parker, Larry & Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Capturing CO2 from Coal-Fired Power Plants: Challenges for a Comprehensive Strategy

Description: This report examines the current effort to develop technology that would capture CO2. First, the paper outlines the current status of carbon capture technology. Second, the paper examines the role of government in developing that technology, both in terms of creating a market for carbon capture technology and encouraging development of the technology. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion of implications of capture technology for climate change legislation.
Date: February 13, 2009
Creator: Parker, Larry; Stine, Deborah D. & Folger, Peter
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: July 1, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Estimates of Carbon Mitigation Potential from Agricultural and Forestry Activities

Description: The report is organized into three parts. The first provides a brief overview of the role of the agriculture and forestry sectors within the broader climate change debate, describing available estimates of current GHG emissions and carbon sequestration in the farm and forestry sectors. The second describes available data and information on the potential for carbon storage (tonnage) by type of farming and forestry activity, and presents available estimates of the carbon sequestration potential in these sectors. The final part discusses some of the limitations of available estimates of GHG mitigation potential in the agriculture and forestry sectors, focusing on recent policy and market changes and other types of modeling uncertainties that could limit the accuracy of available mitigation projections.
Date: February 20, 2009
Creator: Johnson, Renee; Gorte, Ross W.; Yacobucci, Brent D. & Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Carbon Tax and Greenhouse Gas Control: Options and Considerations for Congress

Description: This report begins with an overview of the fundamental choices involved between a cost (tax) and a quantity (cap) control instrument. This includes a discussion of policy tools that could be employed to bridge the gap between a carbon tax and a cap-and-trade program. Following this overview, the report analyzes the potential advantages and disadvantages of a carbon tax. In many cases, carbon tax attributes are compared with those of a cap-and-trade program. The next section discusses implementation issues for a carbon tax, including where to apply the tax, at what level to set the tax, and options for distributing the tax revenues. The final section provides conclusions.
Date: March 10, 2009
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L. & Parker, Larry
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

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

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

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

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

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

Calculation of Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the Renewable Fuel Standard

Description: The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) significantly expanded the renewable fuel standard (RFS) established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. EISA requires an increasing amount of the 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022 mandate be met with "advanced biofuels." This report defines the classification "biofuels," discusses the ongoing debate regarding several aspects of biofuels endeavors, and discusses related legislative efforts on climate change policy and low-carbon fuel standards.
Date: June 25, 2009
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D. & Bracmort, Kelsi S.
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

Estimates of Carbon Mitigation Potential from Agricultural and Forestry Activities

Description: Numerous theoretical and empirical studies estimate the greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential of farm and forestry activities, and suggest that the potential for carbon uptake in agricultural soils and forest lands is much greater than current rates. Following a discussion of the estimated current emissions and carbon sequestration by the agricultural and forestry sectors, this report presents a brief overview of the available estimates from USDA and EPA carbon mitigation studies, and then discusses some of the limitations of the available data and modeling results. This report is organized into four parts, including a brief overview of the agriculture and forestry sectors within the broader climate change debate, as well as various data and information on potential for carbon storage and mitigation from farming and forestry activities.
Date: June 19, 2009
Creator: Johnson, Renée; Gorte, Ross W.; Yacobucci, Brent D. & Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Critical Barriers and Congressional Policy

Description: Federal policymakers are debating a range of potential initiatives for reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from U.S. energy sources. An overarching policy issue which arises from carbon control proposals is how the CO2 reduction targets could be achieved. One method that has garnered significant attention is increasing the electricity efficiency in buildings. Analysts have identified a number of critical socioeconomic and policy barriers which have historically limited the impact of federal and state building efficiency programs. This report describes those barriers, the degree to which federal law has addressed them, and their implications for meeting future U.S. carbon reduction targets.
Date: June 24, 2009
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.; Sissine, Fred & Fischer, Eric A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)

Description: Carbon capture and sequestration (or storage) - known as CCS - has attracted interest as a measure for mitigating global climate change because large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from fossil fuel use in the United States are potentially available to be captured and stored underground or prevented from reaching the atmosphere. Congressional interest has grown in CCS as part of legislative strategies to address climate change. The large and rapid influx of funding for industrial-scale CCS projects may accelerate development and deployment of CO2 capture technologies.
Date: June 19, 2009
Creator: Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department