This report focuses on the policies contained in the 2014 farm bill that support agriculture based renewable energy, especially biofuels. The introductory sections of this report briefly describe how U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) bioenergy policies evolved and how they fit into the larger context of U.S. biofuels policy.
This report reviews the status of energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation introduced during the 110th Congress. Most action in the second session is focused on the FY2009 budget request and legislation that would extend or modify selected renewable energy and energy efficiency tax incentives.
The Bush Administration issued its plan for a national energy policy on May 16, 2001. The plan was controversial, characterized by some as leaner on conservation and renewables than Democratic proposals, and predisposed to trade off environmental considerations to increase supply. Comprehensive energy legislation was introduced in the Senate by both parties by late March (S. 388, S. 389, S. 596, S. 597). Bills reported by several House committees (H.R. 2436, H.R. 2460, H.R. 2511, and H.R. 2587) were combined in a single bill, H.R. 4, passed by the House, August 1, 2001. The House version of H.R. 4 would require a 5 billion gallon reduction in light-duty truck and SUV fuel consumption and would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to leasing.
In the 108th Congress, debate over energy efficiency programs has focused on budget, oil, natural gas, and electricity issues, and provisions in the omnibus energy policy bill, S. 2095, H.R. 6, and S. 14/S. 1149. The Bush Administration’s FY2005 budget request for the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Energy Efficiency Program sought $875.9 million, including $543.9 for R&D and $332.0 million for grants. In the first session, the omnibus energy bill (H.R. 6) had several significant tax and regulatory measures for energy efficiency. It did not pass the Senate due to concerns about cost and an MTBE “safe harbor” provision.
This report reviews the status of energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation introduced during the 109th Congress. Action in the second session has focused on appropriations bills; the first session focused on omnibus energy policy bill H.R. 6 and several appropriations bills. this report describes several major pieces of legislation, including the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Transportation Equity Act. For each bill listed in this report, a brief description and a summary of action are given, including references to committee hearings and reports. Also, a selected list of hearings on renewable energy is included.
The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA! (P.L. 94-163), as amended by the National Energy Conservation Policy Act (NEPCA) (P.L. 95-619) , requires that energy efficiency standards be established for each of 13 classes of appliances that are major consumers of energy. NEPCA stipulates that such standards "be designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency which the Secretary [of Energ'y] determines is technologically feasible and economically justified." The Department of Energy ' announced proposed standards for 8 of the 13 classes of appliances in June 1980 and initiated public hearings on them prior to final promulgation. In January 1981, the DOE suspended this process; after re-studying the proposed standards, it announced in April 1982 a finding that no standards are economically justified.
The report provides background on the theory and application of tax policy as it relates to the energy sector, particularly with respect to the theory of market failure in the energy sector and the suggested policy remedies. This background provides a context for understanding how current or proposed energy tax policy may affect other policy objectives or be affected by such objectives.
This report discusses current ideas for a federal Renewable Electricity (or Energy) Standard (RES) and a broader Clean Energy Standard (CES). The goal of this report is to explore how such policies could potentially increase the amounts of renewable electricity generated in the United States, discussing other related public policy goals and rationales for renewable energy development, and the challenges/drawbacks of RES policy.
Petroleum prices have continued to rise sharply in 2008, at one time reaching more than $140 per barrel of crude oil. At the same time the average monthly volume of imports of energy-related petroleum products has fallen slightly. The combination of sharply rising prices and a slightly lower level of imports of energy-related petroleum products translates into an escalating cost for those imports. The prices of energy imports have been on a steady rise since summer of 2007, defying the pattern of declining energy import prices in the fall. This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the rising oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit.
This report analyzes the relationship between the dollar and the price of oil and how the two might interact. It includes sections describing real and nominal oil prices, major currencies, oil exchanges, oil supply and demand and factors affecting the international exchange value of the dollar: capital flows, the U.S. financial balance, the foreign exchage market, and the U.S. trade deficit.
The Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA) and the Federal Power Act (FPA) were enacted to eliminate unfair practices and other abuses by electricity and gas holding companies by requiring federal control and regulation of interstate public utility holding companies. Comprehensive energy legislation has passed the House and Senate. The House passed H.R. 6 on April 11, 2003. On July 31, 2003, the Senate suspended debate on S. 14, inserted the text of H.R. 4 (107th Congress) as a substitute, and passed H.R. 6. A conference agreement was reached November 17, 2003, and passed by the House the next day. H.R. 6 includes an electricity title that would, in part, repeal PUHCA, would prospectively repeal the mandatory purchase requirement under PURPA, and would create an electric reliability organization. On June 15, 2004, H.R. 4503, a comprehensive energy policy bill, passed the House.
After the collapse of Enron Corp. in late 2001, that company's activities came under intense scrutiny. Much of its business consisted of trading financial contracts whose value was derived from changes in energy prices. Enron's derivatives trading was largely "over-the-counter" (OTC) and unregulated: little information about transactions was available. This incident has sparked interest in reform of energy derivatives regulation. This report summarizes energy derivatives regulation and proposed legislation.
In 1992, the Nation spent $522 billion for energy ($1996 constant), while energy efficiency and conservation measures were saving the economy about $275 billion per year. Energy is conserved when technical means are employed to improve efficiency or to reduce energy waste. In 1996 constant dollars, conservation research and development (R&D) funding declined from $698 million in FY1979 to $198 million in FY1988 and then climbed to $486 million in FY1994, 31% below the FY1979 peak.
In order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states, it must conclude a framework agreement that meets specific requirements under section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA). The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. Congressional review is required for section 123 agreements; the AEA establishes special "fast track" parliamentary procedures by which Congress may act on a proposed agreement.
One of the least controversial provisions of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (P.L. 94-163) established corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for new passenger cars. This report presents a brief background and analysis regarding the price of crude oil that brought into sharp focus the fuel inefficiency of U.S. automobiles. The report also discusses the previous issues and the most recent developments regarding CAFE.
This report provides an overview of the statutory framework, key players, infrastructure, resources, tools, and operations associated with enforcement and compliance of the major pollution control laws and regulations administered by EPA. It also outlines the roles of federal (including regional offices) and state regulators, as well as the regulated community.
This report summarizes the provisions of the proposed "Energy Sector Strategy of the World Bank Group." It situates the strategy within current WBG lending practices and in response to various stakeholder critiques. A final section outlines issues for Congress.
This report looks at the environmental impact of using water to absorb the heat from thermoelectric generating plants and manufacturing facilities during their industrial processes. The issue for Congress has been whether a stringent and costly environmental mandate could jeopardize reliability of electricity supply in the United States.
This report reviews past and proposed treatment of hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Water Drinking Act, the principal federal statute for regulating the underground injection of fluids to protect groundwater sources of drinking water. It reviews current provisions for regulating underground injection activities, and discusses some possible implications of, and issues associated with, enactment of legislation authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate hydraulic fracturing under this statute.
This report gives an overview of the federal incentives support the development and deployment of alternatives to conventional fuels and engines in transportation including tax deductions and credits for vehicle purchases and the installation of refueling systems; federal grants for conversion of older vehicles to newer technologies; mandates for the use of biofuels; and incentives for manufacturers to produce alternative fuel vehicles. It also addresses how these incentives relate to goals of reducing petroleum consumption and import dependence, improving environmental quality, expanding domestic manufacturing, and promoting agriculture and rural development.
This report is a guide to the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Energy and Water Development. It summarizes the status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant. The report lists the key CRS staff relevant to the issues covered and related CRS products.
This report summarizes and compares climate change adaptation-related provisions in the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454) and the Clean Energy, Jobs, and Power Act (S. 1733). Both H.R. 2454 and S. 1733 include adaptation provisions that seek to better assess the impacts of climate change and variability that are occurring now and in the future; and support adaptation activities related to climate change, both domestically and internationally.
This report provides a brief review of efforts to develop and construct a natural gas pipeline from Prudhoe Bay, a status report on recent efforts to proceed, and an analysis of major relevant policy issues.
This report provides an overview of Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) design. The report discusses the legislative origins and policy debates prior to ARPA-E authorization and Bush administration response to ARPA-E authorization.
This report reviews the final regulations on diesel fuel and diesel engine emissions signed by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner December 21, 2000 and promulgated January 18, 2001. This report examines the rule’s potential impacts on fuel supply, summarizes the issues related to pollution controls, discusses potential impacts on the economy, and discusses issues raised by the timing and implementation schedule of the proposed rule.
This report looks at the background of Iran's nuclear policy. It covers the current status of Iran's nuclear facilities, and current controversy surrounding them, as well as the effects of international sanctions on Iran, recent sabotages on the Iran Enrichment Program, an estimated timeline of Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities, and whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapons program.
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