CRS – Energy Policy: 113th Congress Issues

August 31, 2015

5/30/13 Energy policy in the United States has focused on three major goals: assuring a secure supply of energy, keeping energy costs low, and protecting the environment. In pursuit of those goals, government programs have been developed to improve the efficiency with which energy is utilized, to promote the domestic production of conventional energy sources, and to develop […]

CRS – Severe Thunderstorms and Tornadoes in the United States

August 28, 2015

5/22/2013 Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes affect communities across the United States every year, causing fatalities, destroying property and crops, and disrupting businesses. Tornadoes are the most destructive products of severe thunderstorms, and second only to flash flooding as the cause for most thunderstorm-related fatalities. Damages from violent tornadoes seem to be increasing, similar to the […]

CRS – International Climate Change Financing: The Green Climate Fund (GCF)

August 28, 2015

4/16/2013 Over the past several decades, the United States has delivered financial and technical assistance for climate change activities in the developing world through a variety of bilateral and multilateral programs. The United States and other industrialized countries committed to such assistance through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, Treaty Number: 102-38, […]

CRS – U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production in Federal and Non-Federal Areas

August 27, 2015

2/28/13 In 2012, oil prices ranged from $80 to $110 per barrel (West Texas Intermediate spot price) and remain high in early 2013. Congress is faced with proposals designed to increase domestic energy supply, enhance security, and/or amend the requirements of environmental statutes. A key question in this discussion is how much oil and gas […]

CRS – Stormwater Permits: Status of EPA’s Regulatory Program

August 27, 2015

7/13/2013 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and states are implementing a federally mandated program for controlling stormwater discharges from industrial facilities and municipalities. Large cities and most industry sources are subject to rules issued in 1990, and EPA issued permit rules to cover smaller cities and other industrial sources and construction sites in 1999. Because […]

CRS – Syria’s Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress

August 26, 2015

6/14/13 The use or loss of control of chemical weapons stocks in Syria could have unpredictable consequences for the Syrian population and neighboring countries as well as U.S. allies and forces in the region. Congress may wish to assess the Administration’s plans to respond to possible scenarios involving the use, change of hands, or loss […]

CRS – Armed Conflict in Syria: U.S. and International Response

August 25, 2015

6/14/13 The popular-uprising-turned-armed-rebellion in Syria is in its third year, and seems poised to continue, with the government and a bewildering array of militias locked in a bloody struggle of attrition. The Obama Administration has signaled a pending expansion of U.S. civilian and military assistance to the opposition in the wake of the U.S. intelligence […]

CRS – Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations

August 25, 2015

6/21/13 Several Turkish domestic and foreign policy issues have significant relevance for U.S. interests, and Congress plays an active role in shaping and overseeing U.S. relations with Turkey. This report provides background information on Turkey and discusses possible policy options for Members of Congress and the Obama Administration. U.S. relations with Turkey—a longtime North Atlantic […]

CRS – Federal Reserve: Unconventional Monetary Policy Options

August 25, 2015

2/19/13 The “Great Recession” and the ensuing weak recovery have led the Federal Reserve (Fed) to reevaluate its monetary policy strategy. Since December 2008, overnight interest rates have been near zero; at this “zero bound,” they cannot be lowered further to stimulate the economy. As a result, the Fed has taken unprecedented policy steps to […]