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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

Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Technology Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs

Description: 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.
Date: June 12, 2012
Creator: Cunningham, Lynn J.; Roberts, Beth A.; Canis, Bill & Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cooling Water Intake Structures: Summary of EPA's Proposed Rule

Description: 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.
Date: June 12, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain

Description: 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. The concentration of production of rare earth elements (REEs) outside the United States raises the important issue of supply vulnerability, since they are used for new energy technologies and national security applications.
Date: June 8, 2012
Creator: Humphries, Marc
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

U.S. Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage

Description: This report focuses on the current situation with spent nuclear fuel storage in the United States. It does not address all of the issues associated with permanent disposal of SNF, but rather focuses on the SNF storage situation, primarily at current and former reactor facilities for the potentially foreseeable future.
Date: May 24, 2012
Creator: Werner, James D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Energy Standard: Summary and Analysis of S. 2146

Description: U.S. policymakers have considered and deliberated on several policy designs that could potentially reduce energy-related carbon emissions. In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama proposed the concept of a Clean Energy Standard (CES) that would result in 80% of U.S. electricity generation from clean energy sources by 2035. In March of 2012, the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 (S. 2146) was introduced in the Senate.
Date: May 9, 2012
Creator: Brown, Phillip
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Nuclear Cooperation with India: Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the United States' relationship with India as it regards nuclear nonproliferation and cooperation. It particularly looks at agreements made between the Bush administration and India, and the Obama administrations continuation of these policies.
Date: May 7, 2012
Creator: Kerr, Paul K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage

Description: This report focuses on the current situation with spent nuclear fuel storage in the United States. It does not address all of the issues associated with permanent disposal of SNF, but rather focuses on the SNF storage situation, primarily at current and former reactor facilities for the potentially foreseeable future.
Date: May 3, 2012
Creator: Werner, James 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. 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

Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues

Description: This report reviews past and proposed treatment of hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Water Drinking Ace, 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.
Date: April 10, 2012
Creator: Tiemann, Mary & Vann, Adam
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, including sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered species; and increased military operations in the region. It includes background information on the region and on a variety of issues for which Congress may want to consider legislation.
Date: April 5, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Oil Imports and Exports

Description: Oil import and export developments pose a host of policy issues. Concerns about import dependence continue to generate interest in policy options to directly discourage imports or to reduce the need for imports by increasing domestic supply and decreasing demand. Rising exports at a time of rising prices has led to calls for policies to restrict such trade. The debate around the Keystone XL pipeline involves concerns about imports, exports, and the environment. The rising cost for fuels has led to calls for release of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, meant to provide a short term policy option in case of supply disruptions. Policy options may entail various economic, fiscal, and environmental trade-offs.
Date: April 4, 2012
Creator: Nerurkar, Neelesh
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: March 13, 2012
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department