Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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EPA's Clean Power Plan: Highlights of the Final Rule

Description: This report provides an initial analysis of EPA's final rule -- a prepublication version, known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), pursuant to Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act -- summarizing highlights and identifying differences between the final and proposed rules. The topics discussed do not represent an exhaustive list of the differences from the proposed rule or the support or opposition that may be raised by various stakeholders.
Date: August 14, 2015
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L. & McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conservation Compliance and U.S. Farm Policy

Description: This report discusses various provisions designed to reduce production and conserve soil and water resources. Many of the provisions remain in effect today, including the two compliance provisions--highly erodible land conservation (sodbuster) and wetland conservation (swampbuster).
Date: June 9, 2014
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues

Description: This report provides an overview of the rationale for the PGS mission and the possible deployment of conventional warheads on long-range ballistic missiles or boost-glide systems in support of this mission. It then reviews the Air Force and Navy efforts to develop these systems, and summarizes congressional reaction to these proposals.
Date: October 2, 2015
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

Description: This report provides background information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory activity during the Obama Administration. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of rules not yet promulgated (including related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables for rules under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final.
Date: February 9, 2016
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report summarizes the issues the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encountered when developing regulations for "carbon pollution" from existing power plants as part of the Clean Power Plan. The report describes how the EPA resolved these issues. In addition to discussing details of the Clean Power Plan, the report addresses the EPA's authority under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), the EPA's previous experience using that authority, and other background questions. The report discusses the ongoing litigation in which a number of states and other entities have challenged the rule, while other states and entities have intervened in support of the rule. It also discusses challenges to the rule under the Congressional Review Act and other options that Congress has to influence the EPA's action.
Date: January 13, 2016
Creator: McCarthy, James E.; Ramseur, Jonathan L.; Leggett, Jane A.; Wyatt, Alexandra M. & Dolan, Alissa M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues

Description: This report provides an overview of the rationale for the prompt global strike (PGS) mission and the possible deployment of conventional warheads on long-range ballistic missiles or boost-glide systems in support of this mission. It then reviews the Air Force and Navy efforts to develop these systems. It summarizes congressional reaction to these proposals, then provides a more detailed account of the issues raised by these concepts and programs.
Date: February 24, 2016
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet. Coast Guard polar icebreakers perform a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. The operational U.S. polar icebreaking fleet currently consists of one heavy polar icebreaker, Polar Star, and one medium polar icebreaker, Healy.
Date: September 2, 2015
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report summarizes the issues the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encountered when developing regulations for "carbon pollution" from existing power plants as part of the Clean Power Plan. The report describes how the EPA resolved these issues.
Date: April 5, 2016
Creator: McCarthy, James E.; Ramseur, Jonathan L.; Wyatt, Alexandra M. & Dolan, Alissa M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet. Congress's decisions on this issue could affect Coast Guard funding requirements, the Coast Guard's ability to perform its polar missions, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: March 21, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report provides a series of frequently-asked questions with answers regarding the Clean Power Plan and related litigation. On August 3, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated standards for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing fossil-fuel-fired power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA); the rule, known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), appeared in the Federal Register on October 23, 2015.
Date: May 19, 2016
Creator: McCarthy, James E.; Ramseur, Jonathan L.; Leggett, Jane A.; Wyatt, Alexandra M. & Dolan, Alissa M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA Policies Concerning Integrated Planning and Affordability of Water Infrastructure

Description: This report examines two recent initiatives by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in which the agency works with states to develop and implement new approaches for water quality goals that will be more cost-effective and address the most pressing water infrastructure problems first. The examples include an integrated planning policy and a framework policy for assessing a community's financial capability to meet objectives and requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
Date: May 2, 2016
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Power Plan: Legal Background and Pending Litigation in West Virginia v. EPA

Description: This report provides legal background on the Clean Power Plan rule (CPP) to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), its Clean Air Act (CAA) framework under Section 111, and climate-related lawsuits that have preceded the present litigation over the CPP. It then gives an overview of the participants in the current litigation, including two groups of Members of Congress, who have offered briefs in support of the petitioners and the respondents, respectively. This report explains the major events in the litigation as of the date of publication, including the Supreme Court stay, and the likely timetable of events in the near term.
Date: April 27, 2016
Creator: Wyatt, Alexandra M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report summarizes the issues the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encountered when developing regulations for "carbon pollution" from existing power plants as part of the Clean Power Plan, and describes how the EPA resolved these issues.
Date: June 15, 2016
Creator: McCarthy, James E.; Ramseur, Jonathan L.; Leggett, Jane A.; Wyatt, Alexandra M. & Dolan, Alissa M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Power Plan: Legal Background and Pending Litigation in West Virginia v. EPA

Description: This report provides legal background on the Clean Power Plan rule (CPP or Rule) to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), its Clean Air Act (CAA) framework under Section 111, and climate-related lawsuits that have preceded the present litigation over the CPP. It then gives an overview of the participants in the current litigation, including two groups of Members of Congress, who have offered briefs in support of the petitioners and the respondents, respectively.
Date: August 8, 2016
Creator: Wyatt, Alexandra M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pipeline Security: Domestic Threats

Description: This report discusses recent acts of sabotage against U.S. oil pipelines by environmental activists have raised concern about the security of the nation's energy pipelines and the federal program to protect them.
Date: November 3, 2016
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change Legislation in the 113th Congress

Description: This report focuses on legislative actions--including comprehensive bills with individual climate change titles, sections, or provisions--that explicitly address climate change issues. The provisions in these bills fall into six general categories: carbon price (i.e., tax or fee) on greenhouse (GHG) emissions; other mechanisms intended to encourage mitigation of GHG emissions (e.g., sequestration of emissions); research on climate change-related issues; adaptation activities related to expected climate change impacts; support for international climate change-related activities; and action that limits or prohibits climate change-related authorities, efforts, or considerations.
Date: March 12, 2014
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change Legislation in the 113th Congress

Description: Report regarding legislative actions that explicitly address climate change issues. The provisions in these bills fall into six general categories: carbon price (i.e., tax or fee) on greenhouse (GHG) emissions; other mechanisms intended to encourage mitigation of GHG emissions (e.g., sequestration of emissions); research on climate change-related issues; adaptation activities related to expected climate change impacts; support for international climate change-related activities; and action that limits or prohibits climate change-related authorities, efforts, or considerations.
Date: September 16, 2013
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues

Description: This report provides an overview of the rationale for the prompt global strike (PGS) mission and the possible deployment of conventional warheads on long-range ballistic missiles or boost-glide systems in support of this mission. It also reviews the Air Force and Navy efforts to develop these systems, summarizes congressional reaction to these proposals, and provides a more detailed account of the issues raised by these concepts and programs.
Date: February 3, 2017
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations

Description: The principal federal program to aid municipal wastewater treatment plant construction is authorized in the Clean Water Act (CWA). In appropriations legislation, funding for EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) wastewater assistance is contained in the measure providing funds for the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. This report summarizes, in chronological order, congressional activity to fund items in the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account since 1987.
Date: January 30, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA's Vessel General Permit: Background and Issues

Description: This report is an overview of the revised Vessel General Permit (VGP) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and two key issues: inclusion of numeric performance standards to limit ballast water discharges from vessels, and controversies about the role of states in regulating vessel discharges.
Date: January 8, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act and Pollutant Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)

Description: This report discusses the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program which regulates pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained; section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. The report focuses on new challenges facing the TMDL program, including more complex TMDLs, larger scale impairments, and nonpoint sources.
Date: January 17, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department