Congressional Research Service Reports - 1,122 Matching Results

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The U.S. Trade Deficit, the Dollar, and the Price of Oil
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.
Greenhouse Gas Emission Drivers: Population, Economic Development and Growth, and Energy Use
The interactions of three variables underlie debates on the issue of climate change and what responses might be justified: the magnitude and rates of change of (1) population growth, (2) incomes, and (3) intensity of greenhouse gas emissions relative to economic activities. This report examines the interrelationships of the variables to explore their implications for policies that address climate change.
Russian Energy Policy Toward Neighboring Countries
This report begins with a brief discussion of the Russian oil and gas industries, including their efforts to purchase energy infrastructure in central and eastern Europe and reduce energy subsidies to neighboring countries. A second section deals with the impact of Russian energy policy on neighboring countries, all of them formerly part of the Soviet Union, de facto or de jure, and all heavily dependent on Russian energy imports. Many of these countries are concerned about what they see as Russian efforts to manipulate that dependency to achieve political goals. A final section deals with U.S. efforts to promote the energy security of these countries and on Congress's response to the issue.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues.
North Korea's 2009 Nuclear Test: Containment, Monitoring, Implications
This report discusses the implications of North Korea's May 25, 2009, underground nuclear test, related issues such as the the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), containment of radioactive materials, and other concerns for Congress, such as improving nuclear monitoring capability.
Electricity Transmission Cost Allocation
The report makes several observations concerning current cost allocation policy for electricity transmission at the federal and state levels. The report also reviews several recent developments in the cost allocation area.
Energy Tax Policy: Historical Perspectives on and Current Status of Energy Tax Expenditures
This report examines how current revenue losses resulting from energy tax provisions compare to historical losses and provides a foundation for understanding how current energy tax policy evolved by providing a longitudinal perspective on energy tax policy and expenditures.
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices
This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade balance.
Gas Hydrates: Resource and Hazard
This report discusses gas hydrates, which are potentially huge resource of natural gas for the United States. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated that there are about 85 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of technically recoverable gas hydrates in northern Alaska. The Minerals Management Service estimated a mean value of 21,000 TCF of in-place gas hydrates in the Gulf of Mexico. By comparison, total U.S. natural gas consumption is about 23 TCF annually. Gas hydrates are both a potential resource and a risk, representing a significant hazard to conventional oil and gas drilling and production operations, and to date gas hydrates have no confirmed commercial production.
Nuclear Energy Policy
This report discusses nuclear energy issues currently facing Congress, such as federal incentives for new commercial reactors, radioactive waste management policy, research and development priorities, power plant safety and regulation, nuclear weapons proliferation, and security against terrorist attacks.
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress
The United States and Russia signed a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement on May 6, 2008. President Bush submitted the agreement to Congress on May 13. This report discusses key policy issues related to that agreement, including future nuclear energy cooperation with Russia, U.S.-Russian bilateral relations, nonproliferation cooperation and Russia's policies toward Iran.
EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases: Congressional Responses and Options
This report discusses elements of the greenhouse gas (GHG) controversy, providing background on stationary sources of GHG pollution and identifying options Congress has at its disposal to address GHG issues, including: (1) resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act; (2) freestanding legislation; (3) the use of appropriations bills as a vehicle to influence EPA activity; and (4) amendments to the Clean Air Act, including legislation to establish a new GHG control regime.
China and the United States--A Comparison of Green Energy Programs and Policies
This report will look at the laws, programs, and policies encouraging development of wind, solar, and biomass power in China and the United States as the major renewable energy technologies common to both countries. While hydropower is the most developed source of renewable energy in both China and the United States, additional development of conventional hydropower is not a major focus of U.S. or China's renewable energy policy and will not be featured in this discussion.
The LIHEAP Formula: Legislative History and Current Law
This report discusses two types of formulas used to allocate funding to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The two formulas are used in regards to two types of funding: regular and contingency.
U.S.-Australia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation: Issues for Congress
This report briefly discusses nuclear relations and cooperation between the United States and Australia, including the Atomic Energy Act and President Obama's latest renewal agreement of said Act.
U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress
The United States and Russia signed a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement on May 6, 2008. President Bush submitted the agreement to Congress on May 13. The agreement was withdrawn from congressional consideration by President George W. Bush on September 8, 2008, in response to Russia's military actions in Georgia. President Obama transmitted the proposed text of the agreement to Congress on May 10, 2010, along with the required Nuclear Proliferation Assessment (NPAS) and his determination that the agreement promotes U.S. national security. This report discusses key policy issues related to the agreement, including future nuclear energy cooperation with Russia, U.S.-Russian bilateral relations, nonproliferation cooperation, and Russian policies toward Iran.
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices
This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade balance.
Issues in Green Building and the Federal Response: An Introduction
This report discusses what the concept of green building means, major federal policies and programs relating to green building, and associated issues, including some that may confront the 111th Congress.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section.
Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain
This report provides a discussion on the major issues and concerns of the global supply chain for rare earth elements, their major end uses, and legislative and other policy proposals that Congress may consider to improve the U.S. rare earth position.
Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues
The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, 2008 farm bill) created the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). This report discusses the two main purposes of BCAP, which are (1) to support the establishment and production of eligible crops for conversion to bioenergy in selected areas, and (2) to assist agricultural and forest land owners and operators with collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility.
Renewable Energy Programs in the 2008 Farm Bill
This report discuses the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, the 2008 farm bill) that extends and expands many of the renewable energy programs originally authorized in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.
Geoengineering: Governance and Technology Policy
This report is intended as a primer on the policy issues, science, and governance of geoengineering technologies. The report will first set the policy parameters under which geoengineering technologies may be considered. It will then describe selected technologies in detail and discuss their status. The third section provides a discussion of possible approaches to governmental involvement in, and oversight of, geoengineering, including a summary of domestic and international instruments and institutions that may affect geoengineering projects.
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices
This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade balance.
Waiver Authority Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
This report provides a brief overview of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program and discusses the process and criteria for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve a waiver petition. The RFS program required that renewable fuels be blended into gasoline and other transportation fuels.
Nuclear Power Plant Security and Vulnerabilities
This report discusses the physical security at nuclear power plants. The physical security of nuclear power plants and their vulnerability to deliberate acts of terrorism was elevated to a national security concern following the attacks of September 11, 2001. Since the attacks, Congress has repeatedly focused oversight and legislative attention on nuclear power plant security requirements established and enforced by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices
This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit.
Biofuels Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs
This report outlines federal programs that provide direct or indirect incentives for biofuels. For each program described, the report provides details including the administering agency, authorizing statute(s), annual funding, and expiration date. The Appendix provides summary information in a table format.
U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress
The United States and Russia signed a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement on May 6, 2008. President Bush submitted the agreement to Congress on May 13. This report discusses key policy issues related to that agreement, including future nuclear energy cooperation with Russia, U.S.-Russian bilateral relations, nonproliferation cooperation and Russia's policies toward Iran.
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework
The development of offshore oil, gas, and other mineral resources in the United States is impacted by a number of interrelated legal regimes, including international, federal, and state laws. International law provides a framework for establishing national ownership or control of offshore areas, and domestic federal law mirrors and supplements these standards. This report discusses these issues.
Regulating Coal Combustion Waste Disposal: Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of the current rulemaking for Coal combustion waste (CCW) and relevant background information that applies to that rulemaking. In particular, the report describes the nature of the waste itself and primary methods of managing it; discusses potential risks associated with its mismanagement, particularly as supported by new data EPA has gathered to support the proposed rulemaking; and provides an overview of EPA's current regulatory proposal.
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress
This report provides an overview of current issues surrounding alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles - issues discussed in further detail in other CRS reports referred to in each section.
Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain
The concentration of production of rare earth elements (REEs) outside the United States raises the important issue of supply vulnerability. REEs are used for new energy technologies and national security applications. This report provides a discussion on the major issues and concerns of the global supply chain for rare earth elements, their major end uses, and legislative and other policy proposals that Congress may consider to improve the U.S. rare earth position.
U.S.-Australia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation: Issues for Congress
This report briefly discusses nuclear relations and cooperation between the United States and Australia, including the Atomic Energy Act and President Obama's latest renewal agreement of said Act.
Biomass Feedstocks for Biopower: Background and Selected Issues
The production of bioenergy - renewable energy derived from biomass - could potentially increase national energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to rural economic growth. This report provides analyses of commonly discussed biomass feedstocks and their relative potential for power generation. Additional biopower issues - feedstock accessibility, the biomass power plant carbon-neutrality debate, and unintended consequences of legislative activities to promote bioenergy - are also discussed.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened concerns about the region's future. Issues such as Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation, competition, or conflict. This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues.
Agriculture-Based Biofuels: Overview and Emerging Issues
This report reviews the evolution of the U.S. biofuels sector and the role that federal policy has played in shaping its development. In addition, it highlights emerging issues that are critical to the biofuels sector and of relevance to Congress.
Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Overview and Issues
This report focuses specifically on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It describes the general nature of the biofuels RFS and its implementation, and outlines some of the emerging issues related to the sustainability of the continued growth in U.S. biofuels production needed to fulfill the expanding RFS mandate, as well as the emergence of potential unintended consequences of this rapid expansion. This report does not address the broader public policy issue of how best to support U.S. energy policy.
Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Overview and Issues
This report focuses on the mandated minimum usage requirements - referred to as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) - whereby a minimum volume of biofuels is to be used in the national transportation fuel supply each year. It describes the general nature of the biofuels RFS and its implementation, and outlines some of the emerging issues related to the sustainability of the continued growth in U.S. biofuels production needed to fulfill the expanding RFS mandate, as well as the emergence of potential unintended consequences of this rapid expansion. This report does not address the broader public policy issue of how best to support U.S. energy policy.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened concerns about the region's future. Issues such as Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation, competition, or conflict. This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues.
Intermediate-Level Blends of Ethanol in Gasoline, and the Ethanol "Blend Wall"
This report discusses the growing interest in the potential for ethanol to displace petroleum as a transportation fuel, as well as related issues, including current Clean Air Act (CAA) limitation on ethanol content in gasoline; the requests of ethanol producers for an increase of this limitation; and the effects the limitation has upon vehicle and engine warranties and the infrastructures of the automobile and fuel industries.
Nuclear Energy Policy
This report discusses nuclear energy issues currently facing Congress, such as federal incentives for new commercial reactors, radioactive waste management policy, research and development priorities, power plant safety and regulation, nuclear weapons proliferation, and security against terrorist attacks.
Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress
This report discusses the use of biomass as an energy feedstock, which 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 (e.g., switchgrass or prairie perennials), crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. This report discusses legislation regarding biomass, the evolving definition of biomass, and the positions of supporters and detractors of biomass as an alternative energy source.
The Federal Government's Role in Electric Transmission Facility Siting
This report looks at the history of transmission siting and the reason behind the movement toward an increased federal role in siting decisions, explains the new federal role in transmission siting pursuant to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and discusses legal issues related to this and any potential future expansions of the federal role.
The U.S. Oil Refining Industry: Background in Changing Markets and Fuel Policies
This report begins by looking at the current production capacity of the oil refineries operating in the United States, and the sources and changes in crude oil supply. It then examines the changing characteristics of petroleum and petroleum product markets and identifies the effects of these changes on the refining industry. The report concludes with discussion of the policy and regulatory factors that are likely to affect the structure and performance of the industry during the next decade.
Winter Fuels Outlook 2010-2011
This report discusses findings gleaned through the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) publication titled Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook (STEWFO) for the 2010-2011 winter heating season. STEWFO projects how much American consumers should expect to see heating expenditures rise during the 2010-2011 winter season. These findings take into account the currently slow economic growth, high unemployment numbers, and uncertainty regarding the federal funding of the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Surface Transportation Funding and Finance
This report discusses changes in funding to the national surface transportation infrastructure, especially in light of the recession that began in 2007, which led to decreases in driving and fuel use. This report focuses on possible revenue sources for surface transportation infrastructure. It begins with a brief discussion of the problems associated with the trust fund financing system and then explores possible immediate and longer-term solutions to the financing problem.
Options for a Federal Renewable Electricity Standard
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.
The U.S. Oil Refining Industry: Background in Changing Markets and Fuel Policies
This report begins by looking at the current production capacity of the oil refineries operating in the United States, and the sources and changes in crude oil supply. It then examines the changing characteristics of petroleum and petroleum product markets and identifies the effects of these changes on the refining industry. The report concludes with discussion of the policy and regulatory factors that are likely to affect the structure and performance of the industry during the next decade.