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Continuing Resolutions: Overview of Components and Recent Practices

Description: The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the components of Continuing Resolutions (CRs) and a longitudinal analysis of recent congressional practices. Consequently, the data and analysis in this report are inclusive of all appropriations acts entitled or otherwise designated as providing continuing appropriations. The first section of this report explains six of the possible main components of CRs: coverage, duration, funding rate, restrictions on new activities, anomalies, and legislative provisions. The second section discusses the enactment of regular appropriations prior to the start of the fiscal year and the number of regular appropriations bills enacted through a CR since FY1977. The third section analyzes variations in the number and duration of CRs enacted each fiscal year since FY1997, the most recent fiscal year that all regular appropriations were enacted on time. Finally, the fourth section of this report discusses the features of the 15 CRs that provided funding through the remainder of the fiscal year since FY1977. A list of all CRs enacted between FY1977 and FY2016 is provided at the end of this report in Table 4.
Date: January 14, 2016
Creator: Saturno, James V. & Tollestrup, Jessica
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tracking Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Basic Sources

Description: This report introduces selected basic sources that are useful in obtaining background information or specific facts on the status of federal legislative or regulatory initiatives. It includes telephone, online, and media sources are included, as well as pertinent directories, such as those of organizations that track areas of interest. Annotations describing each source's contents and organization are included so that researchers can select those that most closely fit their needs. Internet addresses usually provide information about the items, rather than access to them.
Date: March 2, 2004
Creator: Davis, Carol D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

House Committee Markup: Reporting

Description: This report addresses procedural options that committees have when reporting about their actions during markup, when the specific language of a bill is finalized. It provides an overview of options for reporting amendments, options on how to report, and other reporting actions and considerations.
Date: January 18, 2005
Creator: Schneider, Judy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legislative History Research: A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff

Description: This report provides an overview of federal legislative history research, the legislative process, and where to find congressional documents. The report also summarizes some of the reasons researchers are interested in legislative history, briefly describes the actions a piece of legislation might undergo during the legislative process, and provides a list of easily accessible print and electronic resources.
Date: August 16, 2013
Creator: Taylor, Julia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

PACE Status Update

Description: The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks (the government-sponsored enterprises - GSEs). On July 6, 2010, FHFA and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) concluded that Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs 'present significant safety and soundness concerns' to the housing finance industry. This statement came after a year of discussions with state and federal agencies in which PACE, a novel mechanism for financing energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements, has gone from receiving support from the White House, canonization as one of Scientific American's 'World Changing Ideas' and legislative adoption in 24 states to questionable relevance, at least in the residential sector. Whether PACE resumes its expansion as an innovative tool for financing energy efficiency and clean generation depends on outcomes in each of the three branches of government - discussions on a PACE pilot phase among federal agencies, litigation in federal court, and legislation in Congress - all highly uncertain. This policy brief addresses the practical impacts of these possible outcomes on existing and emerging PACE programs across the United States and potential paths forward.
Date: August 11, 2010
Creator: M., Zimring,; Hoffman, I. & Fuller, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National Energy Efficiency Evaluation, Measurement and Verification (EM&V) Standard: Scoping Study of Issues and Implementation Requirements

Description: This report is a scoping study that identifies issues associated with developing a national evaluation, measurement and verification (EM&V) standard for end-use, non-transportation, energy efficiency activities. The objectives of this study are to identify the scope of such a standard and define EM&V requirements and issues that will need to be addressed in a standard. To explore these issues, we provide and discuss: (1) a set of definitions applicable to an EM&V standard; (2) a literature review of existing guidelines, standards, and 'initiatives' relating to EM&V standards as well as a review of 'bottom-up' versus 'top-down' evaluation approaches; (3) a summary of EM&V related provisions of two recent federal legislative proposals (Congressman Waxman's and Markey's American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 and Senator Bingaman's American Clean Energy Leadership Act of 2009) that include national efficiency resource requirements; (4) an annotated list of issues that that are likely to be central to, and need to be considered when, developing a national EM&V standard; and (5) a discussion of the implications of such issues. There are three primary reasons for developing a national efficiency EM&V standard. First, some policy makers, regulators and practitioners believe that a national standard would streamline EM&V implementation, reduce costs and complexity, and improve comparability of results across jurisdictions; although there are benefits associated with each jurisdiction setting its own EM&V requirements based on their specific portfolio and evaluation budgets and objectives. Secondly, if energy efficiency is determined by the US Environmental Protection Agency to be a Best Available Control Technology (BACT) for avoiding criteria pollutant and/or greenhouse gas emissions, then a standard can be required for documenting the emission reductions resulting from efficiency actions. The third reason for a national EM&V standard is that such a standard is likely to be required as a result ...
Date: February 4, 2011
Creator: Schiller Consulting, Inc.; Schiller, Steven R.; Goldman, Charles A. & Galawish, Elsia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Transferring PACE Assessments Upon Home Sale

Description: A significant barrier to investing in renewable energy and comprehensive energy efficiency improvements to homes across the country is the initial capital cost. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing is one of several new financial models broadening access to clean energy by addressing this upfront cost issue. Recently, the White House cited PACE programs as an important element of its 'Recovery through Retrofit' plan. The residential PACE model involves the creation of a special clean energy financing district that homeowners elect to opt into. Once opted in, the local government (usually at the city or county level) finances the upfront investment of the renewable energy installation and/or energy efficiency improvements. A special lien is attached to the property and the assessment is paid back as a line item on the property tax bill. As of April 2010, 17 states have passed legislation to allow their local governments to create PACE programs, two already have the authority to set up PACE programs, and over 10 additional states are actively developing enabling legislation. This policy brief analyzes one of the advantages of PACE, which is the transferability of the special assessment from one homeowner to the next when the home is sold. This analysis focuses on the potential for the outstanding lien to impact the sales negotiation process, rather than the legal nature of the lien transfer itself. The goal of this paper is to consider what implications a PACE lien may have on the home sales negotiation process so that it can be addressed upfront rather than risk a future backlash to PACE programs. If PACE programs do expand at a rapid rate, the chances are high that there will be other cases where prospective buyers uses PACE liens to negotiate lower home prices or require repayment of the lien as ...
Date: April 12, 2010
Creator: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (U.S.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Statements of Administration Policy

Description: This report discusses Statements of Administration Policy (SAPs) -- i.e., statements that communicate the Administration's position on upcoming legislation -- including structural components, the development of SAPs from the Ronald Reagan Administration to the present, the coordination of executive branch actors involved in issuing SAPs, the receipt of SAPs and their impact on government institutions, and possible reactions to SAPs when they are released publicly.
Date: June 21, 2016
Creator: Stuessy, Meghan M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wireless Sensing, Monitoring and Optimization for Campus-Wide Steam Distribution

Description: The US Congress has passed legislation dictating that all government agencies establish a plan and process for improving energy efficiencies at their sites. In response to this legislation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has recently conducted a pilot study to explore the deployment of a wireless sensor system for a real-time measurement-based energy efficiency optimization. With particular focus on the 12-mile long steam distribution network in our campus, we propose an integrated system-level approach to optimize energy delivery within the steam distribution system. Our approach leverages an integrated wireless sensor and real-time monitoring capability. We make real time state assessment on the steam trap health and steam flow estimate of the distribution system by mounting acoustic sensors on the steam pipes/traps/valves and observing measurements of these sensors with state estimators for system health. Our assessments are based on a spectral-based energy signature scheme that interprets acoustic vibration sensor data to estimate steam flow rates and assess steam traps status. Experimental results show that the energy signature scheme has the potential to identify different steam trap states and it has sufficient sensitivity to estimate flow rate. Moreover, results indicate a nearly quadratic relationship over the test region between the overall energy signature factor and flow rate in the pipe. We are able to present the steam flow and steam trap status, sensor readings, and the assessed alerts as an interactive overlay within a web-based Google Earth geographic platform that enables decision makers to take remedial action. The goal is to achieve significant energy-saving in steam lines by monitoring and acting on leaking steam pipes/traps/valves. We believe our demonstration serves as an instantiation of a platform that extends implementation to include newer modalities to manage water flow, sewage and energy consumption.
Date: November 1, 2011
Creator: Olama, Mohammed M.; Allgood, Glenn O.; Kuruganti, Phani Teja; Sukumar, Sreenivas R.; Woodworth, Ken & Lake, Joe E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legislative History Research: A Basic Guide

Description: This report provides an overview of federal legislative history research, the legislative process, and where to find congressional documents. The report also summarizes some of the reasons researchers are interested in legislative history, briefly describes the actions a piece of legislation might undergo during the legislative process, and provides a list of easily accessible print and electronic resources.
Date: June 15, 2011
Creator: Taylor, Julia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Who Owns Renewable Energy Certificates?

Description: Renewable energy certificates (RECs) are tradable instruments that convey the attributes of a renewable energy generator and the right to make certain claims about energy purchases. RECs first appeared in US markets in the late 1990s and are particularly important in states that accept or require them as evidence of compliance with renewables portfolio standards (RPS). The emergence of RECs as a tradable commodity has made utilities, generators, and regulators increasingly aware of the need to specify who owns the RECs in energy transactions. In voluntary transactions, most agree that the question of REC ownership can and should be negotiated privately between the buyer and the seller, and should be clearly established by contract. Claims about purchasing or using renewable energy should only be made if REC ownership can be documented. In many other cases, however, renewable energy transactions are either mandated or encouraged through state or federal policy. Because of the recent appearance of RECs, legislation and regulation mandating the purchase of renewable energy has sometimes been silent on the disposition of the RECs associated with that generation. Furthermore, some renewable energy contracts pre-date the existence of RECs, and therefore do not address REC ownership. In both of these instances, the issue of REC ownership must often be answered by legislative or regulatory authorities. The resulting uncertainty in REC ownership has hindered the development of robust REC markets and has, in some cases, led to contention between buyers and sellers of renewable generation. This article, which is based on a longer Berkeley Lab report, reviews federal and state efforts to clarify the ownership of RECs from Qualifying Facilities (QFs) that sell their generation under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) of 1978. The full report also addresses state efforts to clarify REC ownership in two other situations, customer-owned ...
Date: June 1, 2006
Creator: Holt, Edward; Wiser, Ryan & Bolinger, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Who Owns Renewable Energy Certificates? An Exploration of PolicyOptions and Practice

Description: Renewable energy certificates (RECs) represent the bundle of information that describes the characteristics of renewable electricity generation, and may be (and increasingly are) sold separately from the underlying electricity itself. RECs are a relatively new phenomenon, emerging as a tradable commodity in voluntary markets in the late 1990s, and gaining strength as a means of compliance with various state policy requirements affecting renewable generation in the early 2000s (Holt and Bird 2005). Twenty states and Washington, D.C. now have mandatory renewables portfolio standard (RPS) obligations, and most of these may be satisfied by owning and retiring RECs. Many states also have fuel source and emissions disclosure requirements, for which RECs are useful. Even where state policy does not allow unbundled and fully tradable RECs to meet these requirements, RECs may still be used as an accounting and verification tool (REC tracking systems are in place or under development in many regions of the U.S.). These applications, plus REC trading activity in support of voluntary green claims, give rise to potential ''double counting'' to the extent that the purchaser of the RECs and the purchaser of the underlying electricity both make claims to the renewable energy attributes of the facility in question (Hamrin and Wingate 2003). When renewable electricity is sold and purchased, an important question therefore arises: ''Who owns the RECs created by the generation of renewable energy?'' In voluntary transactions, most agree that the question of REC ownership can and should be negotiated between the buyer and the seller privately, and should be clearly established by contract. Claims about purchasing renewable energy should only be made if REC ownership can be documented. In many other cases, however, renewable energy transactions are either mandated or encouraged through state or federal policy. In these cases, the issue of REC ownership must ...
Date: April 5, 2006
Creator: Holt, Edward A.; Wiser, Ryan & Bolinger, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Impact of Carbon Control on Low-Income Household Electricity and Gasoline Expenditures

Description: In July of 2007 The Department of Energy's (DOE's) Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its impact analysis of 'The Climate Stewardship And Innovation Act of 2007,' known as S.280. This legislation, cosponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman and John McCain, was designed to significantly cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions over time through a 'cap-and-trade' system, briefly described below, that would gradually but extensively reduce such emissions over many decades. S.280 is one of several proposals that have emerged in recent years to come to grips with the nation's role in causing human-induced global climate change. EIA produced an analysis of this proposal using the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) to generate price projections for electricity and gasoline under the proposed cap-and-trade system. Oak Ridge National Laboratory integrated those price projections into a data base derived from the EIA Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) for 2001 and the EIA public use files from the National Household Transportation Survey (NHTS) for 2001 to develop a preliminary assessment of impact of these types of policies on low-income consumers. ORNL will analyze the impacts of other specific proposals as EIA makes its projections for them available. The EIA price projections for electricity and gasoline under the S.280 climate change proposal, integrated with RECS and NHTS for 2001, help identify the potential effects on household electric bills and gasoline expenditures, which represent S.280's two largest direct impacts on low-income household budgets in the proposed legislation. The analysis may prove useful in understanding the needs and remedies for the distributive impacts of such policies and how these may vary based on patterns of location, housing and vehicle stock, and energy usage.
Date: June 1, 2008
Creator: Eisenberg, Joel Fred
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Jobs and Renewable Energy Project

Description: Early in 2002, REPP developed the Jobs Calculator, a tool that calculates the number of direct jobs resulting from renewable energy development under RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard) legislation or other programs to accelerate renewable energy development. The calculator is based on a survey of current industry practices to assess the number and type of jobs that will result from the enactment of a RPS. This project built upon and significantly enhanced the initial Jobs Calculator model by (1) expanding the survey to include other renewable technologies (the original model was limited to wind, solar PV and biomass co-firing technologies); (2) more precisely calculating the economic development benefits related to renewable energy development; (3) completing and regularly updating the survey of the commercially active renewable energy firms to determine kinds and number of jobs directly created; and (4) developing and implementing a technology to locate where the economic activity related to each type of renewable technology is likely to occur. REPP worked directly with groups in the State of Nevada to interpret the results and develop policies to capture as much of the economic benefits as possible for the state through technology selection, training program options, and outreach to manufacturing groups.
Date: December 19, 2006
Creator: Sterzinger, George
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tracking Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Basic Sources

Description: This report introduces selected basic sources that are useful in obtaining background information or specific facts on the status of federal legislative or regulatory initiatives. It includes telephone, online, and media sources are included, as well as pertinent directories, such as those of organizations that track areas of interest. Annotations describing each source's contents and organization are included so that researchers can select those that most closely fit their needs. Internet addresses usually provide information about the items, rather than access to them.
Date: April 12, 2002
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

International Violence Against Women: U.S. Response and Policy Issues

Description: This report addresses causes, prevalence, and consequences of violence against women. It provides examples of U.S. activities that address VAW directly or include anti-VAW components. It outlines possible policy considerations for the 111th Congress, including the scope and effectiveness of U.S. programs; further integrating anti-VAW programs into U.S. assistance and foreign policy mechanisms; and strengthening U.S. government coordination of anti-VAW activities.
Date: January 28, 2009
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa; Ribando Seelke, Clare; Serafino, Nina M.; Margesson, Rhoda & Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Solar Ready: An Overview of Implementation Practices

Description: This report explores three mechanisms for encouraging solar ready building design and construction: solar ready legislation, certification programs for solar ready design and construction, and stakeholder education. These methods are not mutually exclusive, and all, if implemented well, could contribute to more solar ready construction. Solar ready itself does not reduce energy use or create clean energy. Nevertheless, solar ready building practices are needed to reach the full potential of solar deployment. Without forethought on incorporating solar into design, buildings may be incompatible with solar due to roof structure or excessive shading. In these cases, retrofitting the roof or removing shading elements is cost prohibitive. Furthermore, higher up-front costs due to structural adaptations and production losses caused by less than optimal roof orientation, roof equipment, or shading will lengthen payback periods, making solar more expensive. With millions of new buildings constructed each year in the United States, solar ready can remove installation barriers and increase the potential for widespread solar adoption. There are many approaches to promoting solar ready, including solar ready legislation, certification programs, and education of stakeholders. Federal, state, and local governments have the potential to implement programs that encourage solar ready and in turn reduce barriers to solar deployment. With the guidance in this document and the examples of jurisdictions and organizations already working to promote solar ready building practices, federal, state, and local governments can guide the market toward solar ready implementation.
Date: January 1, 2012
Creator: Watson, A.; Guidice, L.; Lisell, L.; Doris, L. & Busche, S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final Scientific Report - Wind Powering America State Outreach Project

Description: The goal of the Wind Powering America State Outreach Project was to facilitate the adoption of effective state legislation, policy, finance programs, and siting best practices to accelerate public acceptance and development of wind energy. This was accomplished by Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) through provision of informational tools including reports and webinars as well as the provision of technical assistance to state leaders on wind siting, policy, and finance best practices, identification of strategic federal-state partnership activities for both onshore and offshore wind, and participation in regional wind development collaboratives. The Final Scientific Report - Wind Powering America State Outreach Project provides a summary of the objectives, activities, and outcomes of this project as accomplished by CESA over the period 12/1/2009 - 11/30/2011.
Date: February 1, 2012
Creator: Sinclair, Mark & Margolis, Anne
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Global Atmospheric Environment for the Next Generation

Description: Air quality, ecosystem exposure to nitrogen deposition, and climate change are intimately coupled problems: we assess changes in the global atmospheric environment between 2000 and 2030 using twenty-five state-of-the-art global atmospheric chemistry models and three different emissions scenarios. The first (CLE) scenario reflects implementation of current air quality legislation around the world, whilst the second (MFR) represents a more optimistic case in which all currently feasible technologies are applied to achieve maximum emission reductions. We contrast these scenarios with the more pessimistic IPCC SRES A2 scenario. Ensemble simulations for the year 2000 are consistent among models, and show a reasonable agreement with surface ozone, wet deposition and NO{sub 2} satellite observations. Large parts of the world are currently exposed to high ozone concentrations, and high depositions of nitrogen to ecosystems. By 2030, global surface ozone is calculated to increase globally by 1.5 {+-} 1.2 ppbv (CLE), and 4.3 {+-} 2.2 ppbv (A2). Only the progressive MFR scenario will reduce ozone by -2.3 {+-} 1.1 ppbv. The CLE and A2 scenarios project further increases in nitrogen critical loads, with particularly large impacts in Asia where nitrogen emissions and deposition are forecast to increase by a factor of 1.4 (CLE) to 2 (A2). Climate change may modify surface ozone by -0.8 {+-} 0.6 ppbv, with larger decreases over sea than over land. This study shows the importance of enforcing current worldwide air quality legislation, and the major benefits of going further. Non-attainment of these air quality policy objectives, such as expressed by the SRES-A2 scenario, would further degrade the global atmospheric environment.
Date: December 7, 2005
Creator: Dentener, F; Stevenson, D; Ellingsen, K; van Joije, T; Schultz, M; Amann, M et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Distributed Energy Resources for Carbon Emissions Mitigation

Description: The era of publicly mandated GHG emissions restrictions inthe United States has begun with recent legislation in California andseven northeastern states. Commercial and industrial buildings canimprove the carbon-efficiency of end-use energy consumption by installingtechnologies such as on-site cogeneration of electricity and useful heatin combined heat and power systems, thermally-activated cooling, solarelectric and thermal equipment, and energy storage -- collectively termeddistributed energy resources (DER). This research examines a collectionof buildings in California, the Northeast, and the southern United Statesto demonstrate the effects of regional characteristics such as the carbonintensity of central electricity grid, the climate-driven demand forspace heating and cooling, and the availability of solar insolation. Theresults illustrate that the magnitude of a realistic carbon tax ($100/tC)is too small to incent significant carbon-reducing effects oneconomically optimal DER adoption. In large part, this is because costreduction and carbon reduction objectives are roughly aligned, even inthe absence of a carbon tax.
Date: May 1, 2007
Creator: Firestone, Ryan & Marnay, Chris
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal technology transfer requirements :a focused study of principal agencies<U+2019> approaches with implications for the Department of Homeland Security.

Description: This report provides relevant information and analysis to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that will assist DHS in determining how to meet the requirements of federal technology transfer legislation. These legal requirements are grouped into five categories: (1) establishing an Office of Research and Technology Applications, or providing the functions thereof; (2) information management; (3) enabling agreements with non-federal partners; (4) royalty sharing; and (5) invention ownership/obligations. These five categories provide the organizing framework for this study, which benchmarks other federal agencies/laboratories engaged in technology transfer/transition Four key agencies--the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Defense (DoD)--and several of their laboratories have been surveyed. An analysis of DHS's mission needs for commercializing R&amp;D compared to those agencies/laboratories is presented with implications and next steps for DHS's consideration. Federal technology transfer legislation, requirements, and practices have evolved over the decades as agencies and laboratories have grown more knowledgeable and sophisticated in their efforts to conduct technology transfer and as needs and opinions in the federal sector have changed with regards to what is appropriate. The need to address requirements in a fairly thorough manner has, therefore, resulted in a lengthy paper. There are two ways to find summary information. Each chapter concludes with a summary, and there is an overall ''Summary and Next Steps'' chapter on pages 57-60. For those readers who are unable to read the entire document, we recommend referring to these pages.
Date: July 1, 2006
Creator: Koker, Denise & Micheau, Jill M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Access Framework: Model Text (November 2011): An Act to Establish a Framework for Development of Offshore Wind Power

Description: The model offshore wind power legislation focused on two aspects: compensation for use of ocean space and environmental assessment. In particular, the model legislation recommends the adoption of a rent and royalty scheme that is premised on high rent and low royalties in order to stimulate qualified bids from developers who are motivated to begin production as early as possible and to discourage sham bidding. The model legislation also includes a provision that sets royalties at a lower rate in the early years of project operation, and that provides states with the discretion to waive or defer rent and/or royalties for a period of time to meet the goals and objectives of energy independence, job creation, reduced emissions of conventional pollutants and greenhouse gases and increased state requirements for electricity from renewable sources. The environmental impact assessment (EIA) is structured to provide a systematic and interdisciplinary evaluation of the potential positive and negative life-cycle effects of a proposed offshore wind project on the physical, biological, cultural and socio-economic attributes of the project.
Date: October 22, 2011
Creator: Firestone, Jeremy & Crompton, Dawn Kurtz
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department