Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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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.
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.
Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: A Primer
This report focuses on the environmental quality of water resources as affected by animal agriculture, specifically animal waste, which can harm water quality through surface runoff, direct discharges, spills, and leaching into soil and groundwater. This report also discusses the contribution of emissions from animal feeding operations (AFO), enterprises where animals are raised in confinement, to air pollution.
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.
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.
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.
Are Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rising More Rapidly Than Expected?
At least one recent report and numerous news articles suggest that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are rising more rapidly than expected. While CO2 emissions associated with human activities continue to rise -- and may be worthy of alarm because of their influence on climate change -- any short-term comparisons between actual emissions and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios miss the mark. This report analyzes this issue and the issues associated with IPCC scenarios and trajectories. It also describes the importance of monitoring CO2 emissions and analyzing the factors and forces behind increasing CO2 emissions.
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.
Climate Change: The European Union's Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS)
The European Union’s (EU’s) Emissions Trading System (ETS) is a cornerstone of the EU’s efforts to meet its obligation under the Kyoto Protocol. It covers more than 11,500 energy intensive facilities across the 25 EU member countries, including oil refineries, power plants over 20 megawatts (MW) in capacity, coke ovens, and iron and steel plants, along with cement, glass, lime, brick, ceramics, and pulp and paper installations. Covered entities emit about 45% of the EU’s carbon dioxide emissions. The trading program does not cover emissions of non-CO2 greenhouse gases, which account for about 20% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions. A final consideration for the ETS is its suitability for directing long-term investment toward a low-carbon future — the ultimate goal of any climate change program.
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.
Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: A Primer
This report focuses on the environmental quality of water resources as affected by animal agriculture, specifically animal waste, which can harm water quality through surface runoff, direct discharges, spills, and leaching into soil and groundwater. This report also discusses the contribution of emissions from animal feeding operations (AFO), enterprises where animals are raised in confinement, to air pollution.
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.
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.
Climate Change Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report focuses on legislative actions--including comprehensive bills with individual climate change titles, sections, or provisions--that explicitly address climate change issues. The provisions in these bills fall into six general categories: carbon price (i.e., tax or fee) on greenhouse (GHG) emissions; other mechanisms intended to encourage mitigation of GHG emissions (e.g., sequestration of emissions); research on climate change-related issues; adaptation activities related to expected climate change impacts; support for international climate change-related activities; and action that limits or prohibits climate change-related authorities, efforts, or considerations.
Climate Change Legislation in the 113th Congress
Report regarding legislative actions that explicitly address climate change issues. The provisions in these bills fall into six general categories: carbon price (i.e., tax or fee) on greenhouse (GHG) emissions; other mechanisms intended to encourage mitigation of GHG emissions (e.g., sequestration of emissions); research on climate change-related issues; adaptation activities related to expected climate change impacts; support for international climate change-related activities; and action that limits or prohibits climate change-related authorities, efforts, or considerations.
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.
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: 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.”