Congressional Research Service Reports - 356 Matching Results

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EPA Proposes to Repeal the Clean Power Plan
This report discuses the EPA proposal in October 2017 to repeal the "Clean Power Plan" due to their determination after review of the rule that it exceeded their statutory authority to implement it. Steps in the process of repealing the rule, the outcome of the current court case regarding the rule, and possible replacement rules regarding Carbon dioxide emissions and power plants.
EPA Proposes to Repeal the Clean Power Act
This report discusses the EPA's proposal to repeal the Obama Administration's 2015 rule "Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units (EGUs)" commonly known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP). It includes information about the legal basis for the repeal, process, possible challenges and impacts, as well as actions that Congress might take.
Reconsidering the Clean Power Plan
This report provides background on the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and its proposed repeal, describes the administrative steps that are required to repeal or amend a rule, and discusses how the CPP and its proposed repeal fit into the context of recent and projected power sector evolution.
Methane and Other Air Pollution Issues in Natural Gas Systems
This report provides information on the natural gas industry and the types and sources of air pollutants in the sector. It examines the role of the federal government in regulating these emissions, including the provisions in the Clean Air Act and other statutes, and EPA's and other agencies' regulatory activities. It concludes with a brief discussion of a number of issues under debate, including: defining the roles of industry and local, state, and federal governments; establishing comprehensive emissions data; determining the proper control of pollutants and sources; understanding the human health and environmental impacts of emissions; and estimating the costs of pollution abatement. Recent action by President Trump and the courts regarding EPA and BLM air pollution rules are also discussed.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 115th Congress: In Brief
This report discusses the reviews of EPA policies regarding new rules created in 2015 regarding emission of greenhouse gases and ozone air pollution. The new regulations were put in force through authority given to the EPA in the Clean Air Acts of 1970, 1977, and 1990. Some Congressional members would like to revoke some of the authority of the EPA to change existing emission regulations and instead require Congressional approval for changes which along with the new presidential administration has prompted a review of environmental policies and EPA powers.
EPA's 20115 Ozone Air Quality Standards
This report discusses the EPA's standard-setting process for National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the specifics of the most recent reviews, and issues raised by the 2015 rulemaking, which lowered the allowed levels of ozone pollution in the air, and its implementation.
Methane and Other Air Pollution Issues in Natural Gas Systems
This report discusses the natural gas supply chain that contributes to air pollution in several ways, including (1) the leaking, venting, and combustion of natural gas in the course of production operations; and (2) the combustion of other fossil fuel resources or other emissions during associated operations.
Methane and Other Air Pollution Issues in Natural Gas Systems
This report provides information on the natural gas industry and the types and sources of air pollutants in the sector. It examines the role of the federal government in regulating these emissions, including the provisions in the Clean Air Act and other statutes, and EPA's and other agencies' regulatory activities. It concludes with a brief discussion of a number of issues under debate, including: defining the roles of industry and local, state, and federal governments; establishing comprehensive emissions data; determining the proper control of pollutants and sources; understanding the human health and environmental impacts of emissions; and estimating the costs of pollution abatement.
Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) in the United States
This report provides a summary and analysis of the current state of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) in the United States and current legislation and funding related to the CCS process and the regulation of air pollution and greenhouse gases.
U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Trends and Projections: Role of the Clean Power Plan and Other Factors
This report examines recent trends in U.S. GHG emissions, particularly CO2 emissions from electricity generation, and the factors that impact emission levels in that sector. In addition, this report examines the degree to which CPP implementation (or lack thereof) may impact CO2 emission levels from electric power plants. The first section provides an overview of various sources of GHG emissions in the United States. This includes an overview of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and a closer look at CO2 emissions from electricity generation, which account for the second largest percentage of CO2 emission from fossil fuel combustion (1% percentage point behind the transportation sector). The second section examines projections of CO2 emissions in the electric power sector, with a particular focus on the role of the CPP and other factors. The final section highlights the challenges in making CO2 emission projections with a comparison of actual CO2 emissions with prior emission forecasts.
Reid Vapor Pressure Requirements for Ethanol
This report discusses legislation (H.R. 1311, S. 517) regarding providing a waiver for ethanol-fuel blends containing greater than 10% ethanol (E15) from the Clean Air Act's (CAA) strict requirements on volatility of gasoline. This requirement currently prevents E15 gas from being sold during the summer. Major points of the legislation, various types of waivers and current rules under the CAA for gasoline and possible options for Congress are discussed.
U.S. Climate Change Regulation and Litigation: Selected Legal Issues
This report provides a brief history of U.S. climate change regulation, reviews the different types of regulation and legal actions that have been pursued in the national debate over greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, examines selected legal issues and next steps in related litigation, and addresses what these legal and regulatory developments mean for Congress. President Trump's Executive Order of March 28, 2017 requiring agencies to reconsider their policies related to climate change is also discussed.
Key Historical Court Decisions Shaping EPA's Program Under the Clean Air Act
This report provides a selective overview of court decisions that historically have most shaped the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) program under the Clean Air Act (CAA).
EPA's Mid-Term Evaluation of Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards
This report discusses the standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for new light-duty vehicles.
Climate Change Litigation Update: "Children's Crusade" Case Against the United States Goes Forward
This report discusses the case of "Juliana v. United States" which was brought by a group of 21 individuals all under the age of 20 organized through an Oregon nonprofit called Our Children's Trust. The plaintiffs seek to compel the federal government to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through appeals to the Constitution and common law.
Federal Citations to the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases
This report compiles a table of Federal Register notices related to federal regulatory actions that specifically cite the social cost of carbon (SC-CO2), SC-CH4 (social cost of methane), SC-N2O (social cost of nitrous oxide), or SC-GHG (social cost of greehnouse gases).
Paris Agreement: United States, China Move to Become Parties to Climate Change Treaty
This report discusses the Paris agreement, which was negotiated under the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and where President Obama and China's President Xi Jinping synchronously deposited their nations' signed instruments with U.N. Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon.
Methane: An Introduction to Emission Sources and Reduction Strategies
This report discusses the "Climate Action Plan" (CAP) announced by President Obama to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs), as well as to encourage adaptation to expected climate change.
Automakers Seek to Align Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Regulations
This report briefly discusses proposed regulatory changes to revise federal fuel economy and environmental standards and reduce potentially large penalties. The technical proposals would be the first major structural change in these standards since 2012, and they come at a time when federal agencies are undertaking a regulatory review that may result in far greater changes.
Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles
This report briefly discusses the second phase of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles jointly proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on July 13, 2015.
EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report summarizes the issues the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encountered when developing regulations for "carbon pollution" from existing power plants as part of the Clean Power Plan, and describes how the EPA resolved these issues.
EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides a series of frequently-asked questions with answers regarding the Clean Power Plan and related litigation. On August 3, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated standards for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing fossil-fuel-fired power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA); the rule, known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), appeared in the Federal Register on October 23, 2015.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Lessons Learned and Issues for Congress
The first section of this report provides an overview of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, pronounced "Reggie") cap-and-trade program and the participating RGGI states. The subsequent sections discuss selected issues raised by RGGI that may be of interest to Congress. The final section provides some final observations that may be instructive to policymakers.
U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emission Trends and the Role of the Clean Power Plan
This report examines recent trends in U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions -- particularly CO2 emissions from electricity generation -- and the factors that impact emission levels in that sector. In addition, this report examines the degree to which Clean Power Plan (CPP) implementation (or lack thereof) may impact CO2 emission levels from electric power plants.
EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report summarizes the issues the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encountered when developing regulations for "carbon pollution" from existing power plants as part of the Clean Power Plan. The report describes how the EPA resolved these issues.
Cars, Trucks, and Climate: EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases from Mobile Sources
This report focuses on EPA's completed and potential actions to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from mobile sources, relying on the authorities in Title II of the Clean Air Act (CAA). We begin with a brief discussion of the petitions and court action that led to EPA's regulatory decisions.
EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report summarizes the Clean Power Plan rule as it was finalized on August 3, 2015, before discussing how the ongoing litigation may potentially impact the rule and its deadlines. EPA faced a number of issues and questions while developing the regulations. This report describes how EPA answered these and other questions.
Volkswagen, Defeat Devices, and the Clean Air Act: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides answers to a series of frequently asked questions focusing on a description of modern diesel technologies, their market and emissions profiles, and some potential reasons that could underlie the use of defeat devices. It summarizes the specific allegations filed against VW under the Clean Air Act, the current status of federal and state investigations, and the potential civil and criminal penalties. Further, the report introduces several outstanding issues currently under debate regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) resources and activities, and issues surrounding VW's defeat device.
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
This report provides background information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory activity during the Obama Administration. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of rules not yet promulgated (including related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables for rules under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final.
Ozone Air Quality Standards: EPA's 2015 Revision
This report discusses the standard-setting process, the specifics of the most recent reviews, and issues raised by the final rulemaking for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone. The rule sets more stringent standards, lowering both the primary (health-based) and secondary (welfare-based) standards from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb.
EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report summarizes the issues the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encountered when developing regulations for "carbon pollution" from existing power plants as part of the Clean Power Plan. The report describes how the EPA resolved these issues. In addition to discussing details of the Clean Power Plan, the report addresses the EPA's authority under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), the EPA's previous experience using that authority, and other background questions. The report discusses the ongoing litigation in which a number of states and other entities have challenged the rule, while other states and entities have intervened in support of the rule. It also discusses challenges to the rule under the Congressional Review Act and other options that Congress has to influence the EPA's action.
2013 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5): Designating Nonattainment Areas
This report focuses primarily on the NAAQS implementation process for designating geographical nonattainment areas with respect to the tightening of the PM2.5 annual standard under the 2013 particulates NAAQS.
Air Quality: EPA's 2013 Changes to the Particulate Matter (PM) Standard
This report summarizes the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and includes comparisons with previous (1997 and 2006) promulgated and proposed standards.
Greenhouse Gas Pledges by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
This report briefly summarizes the existing commitments and pledges of selected national and regional governments to limit their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as contributions to the global effort. The negotiations cover additional topics, including adaptation to the impacts of climate change and financing to assist the efforts of low-income countries.
EPA's New Ozone Standards: A Few Thoughts
This report discusses the EPA's review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). After several years of analysis, EPA proposed more stringent standards last November. This began a public comment period, leading toward the final decision.
EPA's Clean Power Plan: Highlights of the Final Rule
This report provides an initial analysis of EPA's final rule -- a prepublication version, known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), pursuant to Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act -- summarizing highlights and identifying differences between the final and proposed rules. The topics discussed do not represent an exhaustive list of the differences from the proposed rule or the support or opposition that may be raised by various stakeholders.
Greenhouse Gas Pledges by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
This report briefly summarizes the existing commitments and pledges of selected national and regional governments to limit their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as contributions to the global effort.
Transportation Conformity Under the Clean Air Act
This report explains the Clean Air Act requirement that federal departments and agencies demonstrate that their activities--including projects that they fund--"conform" to state plans for achieving air quality standards. The report explains the statutory requirements, reviews the recent history of their implementation, and examines how conformity requirements might affect areas designated "nonattainment" for a revised ozone air quality standard.
Clean Air Issues in the 114th Congress: An Overview
This report discusses regulatory actions that have recently received attention in the 114th Congress including EPA's proposed regulations on the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from power plants, and a proposed revision of the ambient air quality standard for ozone.
EPA's Proposed Clean Power Plan: Conversion to Mass-Based Emission Targets
This report discusses the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) mass-based conversion methodology and the resulting state-specific mass-based targets.
EPA's Proposed Clean Power Plan: Conversion to Mass-Based Emission Targets
This report discusses the Environmental Protection Agency's mass-based conversion methodology and the resulting state-specific mass-based targets.
Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?
This report discusses some factors taken into account when considering whether biopower is carbon neutral. It does not discuss carbon accounting for other bioenergy pathways.
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
This report provides background information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory activity during the Obama Administration. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of rules not yet promulgated (including identification of related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables that show which rules remain under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final.
Air Quality: EPA's 2013 Changes to the Particulate Matter (PM) Standard
This report summarizes the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) January 15, 2013, final and June 2012 proposed changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and includes comparisons with previous (1997 and 2006) promulgated and proposed standards. Key actions leading up to the agency's determination, and potential issues and concerns associated with changing the Particulate Matter annual standard, are also highlighted.
Clean Air Issues in the 113th Congress: An Overview
This report discusses air pollution regulations and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) regulatory actions on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and also addresses some climate change issues.
Ozone Air Quality Standards: EPA's 2015 Revision
This report discusses the standard-setting process, the specifics of the current and most recent reviews, and issues that may be raised as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brings the current review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to completion.
Canadian Oil Sands: Life-Cycle Assessments of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
This report discusses the basic methodology of life-cycle assessments and compares several of the publicly-available studies of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data for Canadian oil sands crudes against each other and against those of other global reference crudes.
U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Recent Trends and Factors
A question for policy makers is whether U.S. GHG emissions will remain at current levels, decrease to meet the President's 2020 and 2025 goals, or increase to former (or even higher) levels. Multiple factors, including socioeconomics, technology, and climate policies, may impact GHG emission levels. The first section of this report provides current levels and recent trends in U.S. GHG emissions. The second section takes a closer look at some of the key factors that influence emission levels. The third section discusses the challenges in making GHG emission projections by comparing observed emissions with pre-observed emission estimates.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Lessons Learned and Issues for Policy Makers
The first section of this report provides an overview of the RGGI cap-and-trade program and the participating RGGI states. The subsequent sections discuss selected issues raised by RGGI that may be of interest to policy makers. The final section provides some final observations that may be instructive to policy makers.
EPA's Clean Power Plan Proposal: Are the Emission Rate Targets Front-Loaded?
On June 18, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulations (the "Clean Power Plan") addressing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units. This report briefly discusses this proposal.