Energy policy issues of continuing interest include whether or not to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for leasing; settlement upon a pipeline route to allow production of Alaskan natural gas; access to public lands for energy exploration and development; restructuring of the electric utility industry to encourage competition and consumer choice; raising corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for motor vehicles; seeking effective means to promote energy conservation using currently available technologies; and development of new technologies and alternative fuels. This report discusses those major policy approaches, provides a conceptual framework for categorizing energy policy proposals, and briefly describes issues that remain current in the debates over energy policy.
This report discusses policy options for Congress regarding gas prices. The high price of gasoline was an important consideration during the debate on major energy legislation, which ended August 8 as the President signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, H.R. 6 (P.L. 109-58). However, prices continued to surge, spiking at the end of August when Hurricane Katrina shut down refining operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The continuing crisis renewed attention to some issues that were dropped or compromised in the debate over P.L. 109-58. A large number of factors combined to put pressure on gasoline prices, including increased world demand for crude oil and U.S. refinery capacity inadequate to supply gasoline to a recovering national economy. The war and continued violence in Iraq added uncertainty and a threat of supply disruption that added pressure particularly to the commodity futures markets.
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.
While introduction of energy legislation in the 109th Congress is pending, it remains unclear what its course may be. Some believe that the results of the fall 2004 election have heightened prospects for opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas development, and the Republican leadership has indicated that ANWR is to be included in the budget resolution that will come before Congress. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici has indicated that the committee will mark up a comprehensive bill in February. However, Senator Domenici also expressed openness to considering individual bills; he and others are interested in legislation to establish a long-term leasing plan for natural gas resources.
Omnibus energy legislation (H.R. 4) that is now in conference would expand energy tax incentives significantly. The House passed the bill on August 2, 2001, and the Senate approved its version April 25, 2002. Several energy tax issues are addressed in these bills: 1) tax incentives to increase the supply of oil and gas, and the demand for coal; 2) energy tax issues relating to energy conservation and energy efficiency; 3) energy tax issues relating to alternative fuels; 4) selected issues relating to electricity restructuring; and 5) expiring energy tax provisions.
This report focuses on those policies contained in the 2014 farm bill that support agriculture-based renewable energy, especially biofuels. The introductory sections of this report briefly describe how USDA bioenergy policies evolved and how they fit into the larger context of U.S. biofuels policy. Then, each of the bioenergy provisions of the 2014 farm bill are defined in terms of their function, goals, administration, funding, and implementation status. In an appendix at the end of this report, Table A-1 presents data on 2014 farm bill budgetary authority for energy provisions, while Table A-2 presents the original budget authority for Title IX programs under the previous 2008 farm bill. A third table (Table A-3) provides a side-by-side comparison of Title IX energy-related provisions for current versus previous law.
This report provides a brief overview of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program and discusses the process and criteria for EPA to approve a waiver petition. Transportation fuels are required by federal law to contain a minimum amount of renewable fuel each year. The RFS, established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct, P.L. 109-58) and amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA, P.L. 110-140), requires that 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended into gasoline and other transportation fuels in 2012.
This report covers key budgetary issues involving the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, which provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Energy (DOE), and a number of independent agencies.
This report discusses regulation issues affecting electricity today. Comprehensive electricity legislation may involve several components: Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA) reform, PURPA's requirement that utilities purchase power from qualifying facilities (QFs), and reliability.
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 discusses the ongoing debate about whether or not to approve energy development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Current law forbids energy leasing in the Refuge. This report addresses several legislative options on the issue, as well as policymakers' arguments for and against development, especially in the wake of increasing terrorism since 2000-2001.
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.
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.
This report explains the nature of U.S. authority over offshore areas pursuant to international and domestic law. It also describes the laws, at both the state and federal levels, governing the development of offshore oil and gas and the litigation that has flowed from development under these legal regimes. Also included is an outline of recent changes to the authorities regulating offshore development, as well as a discussion of recent executive action and legislative proposals concerning offshore oil and natural gas exploration and production.
Appropriations are one part of a complex federal budget process that includes budget resolutions, appropriations (regular, supplemental, and continuing) bills, rescissions, and budget reconciliation bills. This Report is a guide to one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress passes each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Energy and Water.
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.
This report answers frequently asked questions about the geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2). The questions are broadly representative of typical inquiries regarding the process and mechanics of storing CO2 underground, how much might be stored, and what might happen to CO2 once it is injected underground.
This report focuses on the growth in U.S. oil and natural gas production driven primarily by tight oil formations and shale gas formations. It also reviews selected federal environmental regulatory and research initiatives related to unconventional oil and gas extraction, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed hydraulic fracturing rule and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions.
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.
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.
This report looks at the background of Cuba's oil industry, and also three legislative initiatives introduced by the 112th Congress which take different approaches toward Cuba's offshore oil development.
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