Congressional Research Service Reports - 73 Matching Results

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U.S. Energy: Overview and Key Statistics

Description: Energy supplies and prices are major economic factors in the United States, and energy markets are volatile and unpredictable. Thus, energy policy has been a recurring issue for Congress since the first major crisis in the 1970s. As an aid in policy making, this report presents a current and historical view of the supply and consumption of various forms of energy.
Date: April 11, 2012
Creator: Behrens, Carl E. & Glover, Carol
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy Tax Policy: Issues in the 112th Congress

Description: The economic rationale for interventions in energy markets helps inform the debate surrounding energy tax policy. This report begins by providing background on the economic rationale for energy market interventions, highlighting various market failures. After identifying possible market failures in the production and consumption of energy, possible interventions are discussed. The report concludes with an analysis of energy tax policy as it stands at the start of the 112th Congress.
Date: September 24, 2012
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy Tax Policy: Issues in the 112th Congress

Description: The economic rationale for interventions in energy markets helps inform the debate surrounding energy tax policy. This report begins by providing background on the economic rationale for energy market interventions, highlighting various market failures. After identifying possible market failures in the production and consumption of energy, possible interventions are discussed. The report concludes with an analysis of the current status of energy tax policy.
Date: March 28, 2012
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F. & Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy Storage for Power Grids and Electric Transportation: A Technology Assessment

Description: This report attempts to summarize the current state of knowledge regarding energy storage technologies for both electric power grid and electric vehicle applications. It is intended to serve as a reference for policymakers interested in understanding the range of technologies and applications associated with energy storage, comparing them, when possible, in a structured way to highlight key characteristics relevant to widespread use. While the emphasis is on technology, this report also addresses the significant policy, market, and other non-technical factors that may impede storage adoption. It considers eight major categories of storage technology: pumped hydro, compressed air, batteries, capacitors, superconducting magnetic energy storage, flywheels, thermal storage, and hydrogen.
Date: March 27, 2012
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Keeping America's Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress

Description: Nearly half a million miles of pipeline transporting natural gas, oil, and other hazardous liquids crisscross the United States. While an efficient and fundamentally safe means of transport, many pipelines carry materials with the potential to cause public injury and environmental damage. The nation's pipeline networks are also widespread and vulnerable to accidents and terrorist attack. As it oversees the federal pipeline safety program and the federal role in pipeline security, Congress may wish to assess how the various elements of U.S. pipeline safety and security fit together in the nation's overall strategy to protect transportation infrastructure. Pipeline safety and security necessarily involve many groups: federal agencies, oil and gas pipeline associations, large and small pipeline operators, and local communities. Reviewing how these groups work together to achieve common goals could be an oversight challenge for Congress.
Date: February 13, 2012
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Navy Biofuel Initiative Under the Defense Production Act

Description: This report looks at the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into by the secretaries of Energy, Agriculture, and the Navy in order to “assist the development and support of a sustainable commercial biofuels industry.” The report specifically discusses how and why this understanding should be funded and why it is important for the U.S.
Date: June 13, 2012
Creator: Andrews, Anthony; Bracmort, Kelsi; Brown, Jared T. & Else, Daniel H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress

Description: The use of biomass as an energy feedstock is emerging as a potentially viable alternative to address U.S. energy security concerns, foreign oil dependence, rural economic development, and diminishing sources of conventional energy. Biomass (organic matter that can be converted into energy) may include food crops, crops for energy, crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. Most legislation involving biomass has focused on encouraging the production of liquid fuels from corn. For over 30 years, the term biomass has been a part of legislation enacted by Congress for various programs, indicating some interest by the general public and policymakers in expanding its use. To aid understanding of why U.S. consumers, utility groups, refinery managers, and others have not fully adopted biomass as an energy resource, this report investigates the characterization of biomass in legislation.
Date: March 7, 2012
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi & Gorte, Ross W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Navy Biofuel Initiative Under the Defense Production Act

Description: This report looks at the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to “assist the development and support of a sustainable commercial biofuels industry" which was entered into by the Secretaries of Energy, Agriculture, and the Navy. It raises issues and concerns for Congress to consider when deciding how to fund MOU.
Date: June 22, 2012
Creator: Andrews, Anthony; Bracmort, Kelsi; Brown, Jared T. & Else, Daniel H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Europe's Energy Security: Options and Challenges to Natural Gas Supply Diversification

Description: This report focuses on potential approaches that Europe might employ to diversify its sources of natural gas supply, and Russia's role, as well as identifying some of the issues hindering efforts to develop alternative suppliers of natural gas. The report assesses the potential suppliers of natural gas to Europe and the short- to medium-term hurdles needed to be overcome for those suppliers to be credible, long-term providers of natural gas to Europe. The report looks at North Africa and Central Asia as possible sources of future energy supply.
Date: March 13, 2012
Creator: Ratner, Michael; Belkin, Paul; Nichol, Jim & Woehrel, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Description: The huge earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station on March 11, 2011, knocked out backup power systems that were needed to cool the reactors at the plant, causing three of them to undergo fuel melting, hydrogen explosions, and radioactive releases. Radioactive contamination from the Fukushima plant forced the evacuation of communities up to 25 miles away and affected up to 100,000 residents, although it did not cause any immediate deaths. Studies of the Fukushima disaster have identified design changes, response actions, and other safety improvements that could have reduced or eliminated the amount of radioactivity released from the plant. As a result, Fukushima has prompted a reexamination of nuclear plant safety requirements around the world, including in the United States.
Date: January 18, 2012
Creator: Holt, Mark; Campbell, Richard J. & Nikitin, Mary Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing: Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Support

Description: This report gives an overview of the most widely-used solar technology involving photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, which draw on semiconducting materials to convert sunlight into electricity. The competitiveness of solar PV as a source of electric generation in the United States will likely be adversely affected both by the expiration of tax provisions and by the rapid development of shale gas, which has the potential to lower the cost of gas-fired power generation and reduce the cost-competitiveness of solar power, particularly as an energy source for utilities.
Date: June 13, 2012
Creator: Platzer, Michaela D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing: Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Support

Description: The most widely used solar technology involves photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, which draw on semiconducting materials to convert sunlight into electricity. By year-end 2011, the total number of grid-connected PV systems nationwide reached almost 215,000. Domestic demand is met both by imports and by about 100 U.S. manufacturing facilities. The competitiveness of solar PV as a source of electric generation in the United States will likely be adversely affected both by the expiration of tax provisions and by the rapid development of shale gas, which has the potential to lower the cost of gas-fired power generation and reduce the cost-competitiveness of solar power, particularly as an energy source for utilities. In light of these developments, the ability to build a significant U.S. production base for PV equipment is in question.
Date: April 27, 2012
Creator: Platzer, Michaela D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing: Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Support

Description: The most widely used solar technology involves photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, which draw on semiconducting materials to convert sunlight into electricity. By year-end 2011, the total number of grid-connected PV systems nationwide reached almost 215,000. Domestic demand is met both by imports and by about 100 U.S. manufacturing facilities. The competitiveness of solar PV as a source of electric generation in the United States will likely be adversely affected both by the expiration of tax provisions and by the rapid development of shale gas, which has the potential to lower the cost of gas-fired power generation and reduce the cost-competitiveness of solar power, particularly as an energy source for utilities. In light of these developments, the ability to build a significant U.S. production base for PV equipment is in question.
Date: May 30, 2012
Creator: Platzer, Michaela D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department