Congressional Research Service Reports - 359 Matching Results

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Carbon Tax and Greenhouse Gas Control: Options and Considerations for Congress
This report provides an overview of the fundamental choices involved between a cost (tax) and a quantity (cap) control instrument, including a discussion of policy tools that could be employed to bridge the gap between a carbon tax and a cap-and-trade program. It also analyzes the potential advantages and disadvantages of a carbon tax, 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-- and provides conclusions.
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.
Carbon Tax and Greenhouse Gas Control: Options and Considerations for Congress
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.
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.
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.
Air Quality: EPA's Proposed Ozone Transport Rule, OTAG, and Section 216 Petitions - A Hazy Situation?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently engaged in a series of regulatory actions to address the transport of ozone pollution in the eastern United States. This report reviews this situation with respect to an EPA-proposed Ozone Transport Rule and other activities.
Clean Air Standards: The Supreme Court Agrees to Review
In May, 2000, the Supreme Court agreed to review this decision, raising the prospect of a major pronouncement on the non-delegation doctrine, the enforceability of the revised ozone standard, and the role of compliance costs in setting nationwide air quality standards.
Air Quality: EPA's Ozone Transport Rule, OTAG, and Section 216 Petitions - A Hazy Situation?
The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments provided the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the states with new tool to address the problem of interstate transport of air pollutants. This report discusses the actions undertaken as a direct result of this act, additional pollution reduction enforcement measures pursued by the EPA, and actions undertaken by states to reduce offending emissions not in compliance with these measures.
Highway Fund Sanctions and Conformity Under the Clean Air Act
No Description Available.
The D.C. Circuit Remands the Ozone and Particulate Matter Clean-Air Standards:
On May 14, 1999, in American Trucking Ass'ns v. EPA, a U.S. court of Appeals ruled that deficiencies in EPA's promulgation of new primary and secondary air quality standards required that they be remanded to the agency for further consideration. The decision is controversial, in part because the two-judge majority opinion relied principally on a long-moribund legal doctrine known as the nondelegation doctrine. The decision, if it survives appeal, will thus have implications for all delegations of congressional authority to agencies. In addition, its holding that the revised ozone ambient standard cannot be enforced has sparkled debate. By itself, however, the decision is unlikely to have major short-term effects on the ozone and particulate matter control programs
Mercury Emissions from Electric Power Plants: States are Setting Stricter Limits
No Description Available.
Acid Rain: Does it Contribute to Forest Decline?
This minibrief describes the major hypothesis explaining why acid rain may be contributing to forest decline, along with the major arguments against this hypothesis. For additional information on acid rain and current legislation for pollutant emissions controls, see IB83016 -- Acid Rain: Current Issues, and IB83005 -- Clean Air Act: An Overview.
The Role of Offsets in a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cap-and-Trade Program: Potential Benefits and Concerns
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.
Capturing CO2 from Coal-Fired Power Plants: Challenges for a Comprehensive Strategy
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.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Lessons Learned and Issues for Policymakers
This report discusses recent actions taken by state and local governments to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The first section of this report provides an overview of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap-and-trade program and the participating RGGI states. The second section discusses selected issues raised by RGGI that may be of interest to policymakers who are considering developing a federal program. The final section provides some final thoughts concerning the RGGI program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Methane Capture: Options for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction
This report discusses alternatives for addressing methane capture, sources of methane, opportunities and challenges for methane capture, and current federal programs that support methane recovery.
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.
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.
Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards
This report discusses the gas emission and fuel standards for tier 3 motor vehicle. Emission requirements for new motor vehicles have been strengthened numerous times since the first federal rulemaking took effect in 1968.
Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA's Air Compliance Agreement
This report discusses a plan announced by EPA in January 2005, called the Air Compliance Agreement, intended to produce air quality monitoring data on animal agriculture emissions from a small number of farms, while at the same time protecting all participants (including farms where no monitoring takes place) through a "safe harbor" from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws.
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.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 110th Congress: Implementation and Oversight
This report provides a discussion of several interrelated air issues of interest in the 110th Congress, including revision of the particulate standards, the role of independent scientific review in the setting of air quality standards, multi-pollutant legislation for electric power plants, mercury from power plants, and New Source Review. This report provides an overview of these issues; CRS reports that contain additional information and detailed sources are referenced in the appropriate sections.
Automobile and Light Truck Fuel Economy: The CAFE Standards
On April 6, 2006, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a final rulemaking for sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and light duty trucks beginning with model year (MY) 2008. The rule restructures the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program for light trucks to establish standards based upon vehicle size, as opposed to the current program with one average standard for all light trucks. It marks a significant change to the CAFE program for trucks.
Alternative Transportation Fuels and Vehicles: Energy, Environment, and Development Issues
This report reviews several issues relating to alternative fuels and vehicles, mainly to combat dependence on petroleum imports and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report discusses the advantages and drawbacks of various alternative fuels and vehicles, as well as related legislation.
Clean Air Issues in the 110th Congress: Climate Change, Air Quality Standards, and Oversight
This report provides a brief overview of the climate change issue as well as other Clean Air Act issues the 110th Congress may consider.
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.
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.
Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Critical Barriers and Congressional Policy
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.
Global Climate Change Treaty: The Kyoto Protocol
Negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) were completed December 11, 1997, committing the industrialized nations to specified, legally binding reductions in emissions of six "greenhouse gases." This report discusses the major provisions of the Kyoto Protocol.
Electricity Restructuring: The Implications for Air Quality
In the context of federal and state proposals to restructure the electric utility industry, this paper analyzes forces and policies affecting utility generation that may have consequences for emissions of air pollutants and of greenhouse gases. Key concerns are potential increases in nitrogen oxide emissions, raising questions about the effectiveness of the Clean Air Act to regulate a restructured industry, and in carbon dioxide emissions, which are not currently regulated but could be if the U.S. ratifies the Kyoto Agreement. These issues may be raised in the context of electricity restructuring legislation. For ongoing legislative activities, see CRS Issue Brief IB10006, Electricity: The Road Toward Restructuring.
Global Climate Change: U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Status, Trends, and Projections
This report discusses greenhouse gas emissions and baselines in the U.S. and various aspects of future projections.
Global Climate Change: Selected Legal Questions About the Kyoto Protocol
This report addresses legal issues after the United States signed the Kyoto Protocol to the UnitedNations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The protocol is not yet in effect internationally and cannot be legally binding on the U.S. unless and until the Senate gives its advice and consent.
Air Quality: Multi-Pollutant Legislation
One approach being proposed to more cost-effectively achieve national air quality goals is a "multi-pollutant" strategy -- a framework based on a consistent set of emissions caps, implemented through emissions trading. This report discusses this strategy and related legislation.
Air Quality: Multi-Pollutant Legislation
One approach being proposed to more cost-effectively achieve national air quality goals is a "multi-pollutant" strategy -- a framework based on a consistent set of emissions caps, implemented through emissions trading. This report discusses this strategy and related legislation.
Air Quality and Electricity: Initiatives to Increase Pollution Controls
This report discusses air quality initiatives (such as the Ozone Transport Rule) that primarily focus on reducing and enforcing emissions from coal-fired electric generating utilities in the Midwest and South. The report also addresses various legislative activity that focuses on multi-pollutant strategies as an alternative to these piecemeal initiatives.
Air Quality and Electricity: Initiatives to Increase Pollution Controls
This report discusses air quality initiatives (such as the Ozone Transport Rule) that primarily focus on reducing and enforcing emissions from coal-fired electric generating utilities in the Midwest and South. The report also addresses various legislative activity that focuses on multi-pollutant strategies as an alternative to these piecemeal initiatives.
Global Climate Change: Selected Legal Questions About the Kyoto Protocol
This report addresses legal issues after the United States signed the Kyoto Protocol to the UnitedNations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The protocol is not yet in effect internationally and cannot be legally binding on the U.S. unless and until the Senate gives its advice and consent.
Global Climate Change: Selected Legal Questions About the Kyoto Protocol
This report addresses legal issues after the United States signed the Kyoto Protocol to the UnitedNations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The protocol is not yet in effect internationally and cannot be legally binding on the U.S. unless and until the Senate gives its advice and consent.
Global Climate Change: The Kyoto Protocol
This report discusses the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that was completed December 11, 1997, committing the industrialized nations to specified, legally binding reductions in emissions of six “greenhouse gases.”
Air Quality and Electricity: Initiatives to Increase Pollution Controls
This report discusses air quality initiatives (such as the Ozone Transport Rule) that primarily focus on reducing and enforcing emissions from coal-fired electric generating utilities in the Midwest and South.
The Clean Coal Technology Program: Current Prospects
The Clean Coal Technology (CCT) program, started in the 1980's and funded generously in the early 1990's, has completed most of its surviving projects and has not funded any new ones since 1994. However, President Bush’s FY2002 budget outline proposed spending $2 billion over 10 years on a restructured CCT program. It is not clear what kind of projects would be included in the new program.
Global Climate Change Treaty: Negotiations and Related Issues
This report discusses the negotiations leading the Kyoto conference of the parties. The United States and other parties to the 1992 Climate Change Convention signed at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro will meet December 1-12 in Kyoto, Japan, to conclude year-long negotiations on a legally binding protocol or amendment to reduce or stabilize emissions of greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. proposal to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases to 1990 levels between 2008-2012 is less ambitious than environmentalists and many other treaty Parties urge, but represents a commitment that others, including many in business, fear could damage the economy. A key aspect of the negotiations also is what should be expected of developing nations, whose current emissions of greenhouse gases are relatively small, but are expected to increase rapidly over the next decade with economic development. A sense of the Senate resolution calls for all countries to meet scheduled reductions, and would agree to U.S. participation only if harm to the domestic economy is avoided. If agreement is reached in Kyoto, Senate approval would be required for U.S. ratification, and legislation to implement commitments would also likely be necessary.
Global Climate Change: The Kyoto Protocol
This report discusses the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that was completed December 11, 1997, committing the industrialized nations to specified, legally binding reductions in emissions of six “greenhouse gases.”
Global Climate Change: The Kyoto Protocol
This report discusses the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that was completed December 11, 1997, committing the industrialized nations to specified, legally binding reductions in emissions of six “greenhouse gases.”
Global Climate Change: The Energy Tax Incentives in the President's FY1999 Budget
No Description Available.