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R44341 – EPA’s Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions – 10/12/2016

R44341 – EPA’s Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions – 10/12/2016 published on

Author: James E. McCarthy, Specialist in Environmental Policy;Jonathan L. Ramseur, Specialist in Environmental Policy;Jane A. Leggett, Specialist in Energy and Environmental Policy;Alexandra M. Wyatt,Legislative Attorney;Alissa M. Dolan, Legislative Attorney
Pages: 48

Taking action to address climate change by reducing U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is among President Obama’s major goals. At an international conference in Copenhagen in 2009, he committed the United States to reducing emissions of GHGs 17% by 2020, as compared to 2005 levels. At the time, 85 other nations also committed to reductions. In November 2014, the President set a further goal: a 26% to 28% reduction from 2005 levels to be achieved by 2025- jointly announced with China’s Xi Jinping, who set a goal for China’s emissions to peak by 2030. Since U.S. GHG emissions peaked in 2007, a variety of factors-some economic, some the effect of government policies at all levels-have brought the United States more than halfway to reaching the 2020 goal. Getting the rest of the way and reducing emissions further by 2025 would likely depend, to some degree, on continued GHG emission reductions from electric power plants, which are the largest source of U.S. emissions. Bills: H.R. 2042, S. 1324

R44341 – EPA’s Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions – 10/12/2016

R44341 – EPA’s Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions – 10/12/2016 published on

Author: James E. McCarthy, Specialist in Environmental Policy;Jonathan L. Ramseur, Specialist in Environmental Policy;Jane A. Leggett, Specialist in Energy and Environmental Policy;Alexandra M. Wyatt,Legislative Attorney;Alissa M. Dolan, Legislative Attorney
Pages: 48

Taking action to address climate change by reducing U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is among President Obama’s major goals. At an international conference in Copenhagen in 2009, he committed the United States to reducing emissions of GHGs 17% by 2020, as compared to 2005 levels. At the time, 85 other nations also committed to reductions. In November 2014, the President set a further goal: a 26% to 28% reduction from 2005 levels to be achieved by 2025- jointly announced with China’s Xi Jinping, who set a goal for China’s emissions to peak by 2030. Since U.S. GHG emissions peaked in 2007, a variety of factors-some economic, some the effect of government policies at all levels-have brought the United States more than halfway to reaching the 2020 goal. Getting the rest of the way and reducing emissions further by 2025 would likely depend, to some degree, on continued GHG emission reductions from electric power plants, which are the largest source of U.S. emissions. Bills: H.R. 2042, S. 1324

RL31865 – LIHEAP: Program and Funding – 10/6/2016

RL31865 – LIHEAP: Program and Funding – 10/6/2016 published on

Author: Libby Perl, Specialist in Housing Policy
Pages: 39

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), established in 1981 as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (P.L. 97-35), is a program through which the federal government makes annual grants to states, tribes, and territories to operate home energy assistance programs for low-income households. The LIHEAP statute authorizes two types of funds: regular funds (sometimes referred to as formula or block grant funds), which are allocated to all states using a statutory formula, and emergency contingency funds, which are allocated to one or more states at the discretion of the Administration in cases of emergency as defined by the LIHEAP statute. States may use LIHEAP funds to help low-income households pay for heating and cooling costs, for crisis assistance, weatherization assistance, and services (such as counseling) to reduce the need for energy assistance. The LIHEAP statute establishes federal eligibility for households with incomes at or below 150% of poverty or 60% of state median income, whichever is higher, although states may set lower limits. Available federal information regarding use of LIHEAP funds and households assisted is dated. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) releases annual LIHEAP Reports to Congress, but the most recent report available is from FY2010. In its FY2016 budget justifications, HHS reported limited preliminary LIHEAP data for FY2012. Of funds expended for heating, cooling, crisis assistance, and weatherization, 57% of funds went to pay for heating assistance, 8% was used for cooling aid, 24% went to crisis assistance, and 11% was used for weatherization. (Note that these percentages do not account for administrative expenses or services to reduce the need for energy assistance.) Also in FY2012, an estimated 6.6 million households received an average of $374 in heating assistance for the year.

RL31865 – LIHEAP: Program and Funding – 10/6/2016

RL31865 – LIHEAP: Program and Funding – 10/6/2016 published on

Author: Libby Perl, Specialist in Housing Policy
Pages: 39

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), established in 1981 as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (P.L. 97-35), is a program through which the federal government makes annual grants to states, tribes, and territories to operate home energy assistance programs for low-income households. The LIHEAP statute authorizes two types of funds: regular funds (sometimes referred to as formula or block grant funds), which are allocated to all states using a statutory formula, and emergency contingency funds, which are allocated to one or more states at the discretion of the Administration in cases of emergency as defined by the LIHEAP statute. States may use LIHEAP funds to help low-income households pay for heating and cooling costs, for crisis assistance, weatherization assistance, and services (such as counseling) to reduce the need for energy assistance. The LIHEAP statute establishes federal eligibility for households with incomes at or below 150% of poverty or 60% of state median income, whichever is higher, although states may set lower limits. Available federal information regarding use of LIHEAP funds and households assisted is dated. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) releases annual LIHEAP Reports to Congress, but the most recent report available is from FY2010. In its FY2016 budget justifications, HHS reported limited preliminary LIHEAP data for FY2012. Of funds expended for heating, cooling, crisis assistance, and weatherization, 57% of funds went to pay for heating assistance, 8% was used for cooling aid, 24% went to crisis assistance, and 11% was used for weatherization. (Note that these percentages do not account for administrative expenses or services to reduce the need for energy assistance.) Also in FY2012, an estimated 6.6 million households received an average of $374 in heating assistance for the year.

R43125 – Mixed-Oxide Fuel Fabrication Plant and Plutonium Disposition: Management and Policy Issues – 10/3/2016

R43125 – Mixed-Oxide Fuel Fabrication Plant and Plutonium Disposition: Management and Policy Issues – 10/3/2016 published on

Author: Mark Holt Specialist in Energy Policy; Mary Beth Nikitin, Specialist in Nonproliferation
Pages: 17

With the end of the Cold War and breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, control of surplus nuclear weapons material became an urgent U.S. foreign policy goal. Particular U.S. concern focused on plutonium from Soviet nuclear warheads, which it was feared posed a major nuclear weapons proliferation risk. The United States supported a successful effort to consolidate the storage of Soviet nuclear weapons and materials in Russia, and then began negotiating reductions in weapons material stockpiles.

R43125 – Mixed-Oxide Fuel Fabrication Plant and Plutonium Disposition: Management and Policy Issues – 10/3/2016

R43125 – Mixed-Oxide Fuel Fabrication Plant and Plutonium Disposition: Management and Policy Issues – 10/3/2016 published on

Author: Mark Holt Specialist in Energy Policy; Mary Beth Nikitin, Specialist in Nonproliferation
Pages: 17

With the end of the Cold War and breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, control of surplus nuclear weapons material became an urgent U.S. foreign policy goal. Particular U.S. concern focused on plutonium from Soviet nuclear warheads, which it was feared posed a major nuclear weapons proliferation risk. The United States supported a successful effort to consolidate the storage of Soviet nuclear weapons and materials in Russia, and then began negotiating reductions in weapons material stockpiles.

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