Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Automobile and Light Truck Fuel Economy: The CAFE Standards
This report discusses the current corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard, and the major issues on the CAFE debate. The report also offers an overview of Congressional interest in CAFE (1991-2005), and explains the CAFE and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
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: U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Status, Trends, and Projections
This report reviews U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases in the contexts both of domestic policy and of international obligations and proposals. On October 15, 1992, the United States ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which entered into force on March 21, 1994. This committed the United States to “national policies” to limit “its anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases,” with a voluntary goal of returning “emissions of carbon dioxide [CO2] and other greenhouse gases [methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)]” at the “end of the decade” to “their 1990 levels.”
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.
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.
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.
Underground Carbon Dioxide Sequestration: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers frequently asked questions about the geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2). The questions are broadly representative of typical inquiries regarding the process and mechanics of storing CO2 underground, how much might be stored, and what might happen to CO2 once it is injected underground.
Global Climate Change: Adequacy of Commitments Under the U.N. Framework Convention and the Berlin Mandate
This report discusses the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) convened July 8-19, 1996, in Geneva, Switzerland.
Global Climate Change Policy: Domestic Early Action Credits
This report discusses the global climate change policy and proposals to allow credit for early actions to reduce emissions.
Global Climate Change: A Concise History of Negotiations and Chronology of Major Activities Preceding the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention
This report discusses the ongoing international policy debate regarding Global Climate Change and U.S. involvement in the issue of global climate change.The report provides an historical context of the current debate, which is important in understanding the fundamental issues about global climate change.
Global Climate Change: Reducing Greenhouse Gases - How Much from What Baseline?
This report discusses the ways to reduce emissions of six greenhouses gases after the Kyoto meeting on Global Climate Change. Projecting the reductions that would be required if the U.S. were to ratify the treaty is difficult. While emissions of CO are fairly well established and account for 2 about 85% of total carbon equivalent emissions, emissions of the other gases, especially N O, are more uncertain.
Global Climate Change: Federal Research on Possible Human Health Effects
This report identifies the array of climate-relevant human health research and discusses the interconnections.
Global Climate Change: Congressional Concern About "Back Door" Implementation of the 1997 U.N. Kyoto Protocol
This report discusses legislation and issues relating to global climate change, some legislation and some FY1999 appropriations bills were used as vehicles for explicit congressional direction to the executive branch about possible "back door" implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.
Global Climate Change: Carbon Emissions and End-Use Energy Demand
This report presents an analysis of the potential impacts of the Kyoto Protocol on U.S. energy demand. The analysis focuses on 27 common end-uses — light duty vehicles, residential space heating, industrial direct process heat, etc. — that describe the way energy is used in the United States
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.
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.
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.
Global Climate Change: The Energy Tax Incentives in the President's FY1999 Budget
No Description Available.
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: 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 discusses the Kyoto Protocol and whether the United States is now legally bound by the Protocol, the legal implications of signing it, whether it could be implemented as an executive agreement without submission to the Senate, and whether the Protocol could be used as the legal basis for regulation of emissions even prior to ratification.
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 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 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
No Description Available.
Global Climate Change: The Kyoto Protocol
No Description Available.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nitrogen Oxides and Electric Utilities: Revising the NSPS
No Description Available.
Climate Change Legislation in the 108th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been an issue in the 108th Congress, as they have been over the past decade. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research (H.R. 1578 and S. 1164) to comprehensive emissions cap and trading programs for all six greenhouse gases (S. 139 and H.R. 4067). This report briefly discusses basic concepts on which these bills are based, and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, GHG reporting and registries, and cap and trade programs.
Climate Change Legislation in the 109th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a continuing issue in the 109th Congress. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research to comprehensive emissions cap-and-trade programs. Additional bills focus on GHG reporting and registries, or on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, as part of wider controls on pollutant emissions. The bills vary in their approaches to climate change issues. This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which these bills are based and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, technology deployment, GHG reporting and registries, and emissions reduction programs.
A Clean Air Option: Cash for Clunkers
The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 encourage states to pursue market-based approaches to improve air quality. An Accelerated Vehicle Retirement (AVR) program, commonly referred to as "Cash for Clunkers," is designed to provide an economic incentive for the owners of highly polluting vehicles to retire their automobiles permanently from use and to provide greater flexibility for private industry to reduce emissions by sponsoring such a program. The implementation of AVR programs can be controversial. This report discusses the AVR program debate and includes information on completed AVR pilot projects in selected states.
Climate Change Legislation in the 108th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been an issue in the 108th Congress, as they have been over the past decade. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research (H.R. 1578 and S. 1164) to comprehensive emissions cap and trading programs for all six greenhouse gases (S. 139 and H.R. 4067). This report briefly discusses basic concepts on which these bills are based, and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, GHG reporting and registries, and cap and trade programs.
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.
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 of interest in the 110th Congress.
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 of interest in the 110th Congress.
Climate Change: Comparison and Analysis of S. 1151 and the Draft "Climate and Economy Insurance Act of 2005"
Several proposals designed to address greenhouse gases have been introduced in the 109th Congress. Two proposals, S. 1151, introduced by Senators McCain and Lieberman, and a draft alternative, announced by Senator Bingaman, received increased scrutiny in preparation for the Senate’s debate on comprehensive energy legislation. During that debate, S. 1151, introduced as S.Amdt. 826, was defeated on a 38-60 vote. In contrast, the draft alternative remains a work-in-progress and has yet to be introduced. This report compares these two proposals.
Clean Air Act Permitting: Status of Implementation
The 1990 Clean Air Act amendments established an operating permit system that is affecting many new and existing sources of air emissions, as well as state and local air pollution control agencies. After delays and early missteps, the operating permit program is moving ahead. All state and local programs have received interim or full approval, and permits are being issued, although at a slower rate than anticipated. However, a number of issues exist. These include the effect of key federal regulations, not yet promulgated, on permit programs and regulated sources; adequacy of state resources; gaining full approval for those permit programs that now have interim approval; and oversight.