Congressional Research Service. October 30, 2013.
The Obama Administration, in the FY2014 budget proposal, seeks to eliminate a set of tax expenditures that benefit the oil and natural gas industries. Supporters of these tax provisions see them as comparable to those affecting other industries and supporting the production of domestic oil and natural gas resources. Opponents of the provisions see these tax expenditures as subsidies to a profitable industry the government can ill afford, and impediments to the development of clean energy alternatives.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42374.pdf [PDF format, 13 pages].
Congressional Research Service. October 18, 2013.
Recently, there have been growing concerns about the availability and cost of energy and about environmental impacts of fossil energy use. Those concerns have rekindled interest in energy efficiency, energy conservation, and the development and commercialization of renewable energy technologies. Many of the existing energy efficiency and renewable energy programs have authorizations tracing back to the 1970s. Many of the programs have been reauthorized and redesigned repeatedly to meet changing economic factors. The programs apply broadly to sectors ranging from industry to academia, and from state and local governments to rural communities. This report describes federal programs that provide grants, loans, loan guarantees, and other direct or indirect incentives for energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable energy.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40913.pdf [PDF format, 60 pages].
Center for American Progress. July 2013.
The United States is currently experiencing a boom in natural-gas production and use due to advances in drilling and extraction technologies. Natural gas has been celebrated as a so-called bridge to a clean energy future and climate stabilization. This report finds that natural gas has an important role to play in achieving the emissions reductions necessary to stabilize the climate and prevent the worst impacts of global warming. In the near term, natural gas presents opportunities to reduce carbon pollution insofar as it burns more cleanly than coal and can be used to significantly replace coal in the generation of electricity. It also presents opportunities in the transportation sector, as natural-gas vehicles are a cleaner alternative to traditional vehicles and increasingly are being used in both private and public fleets. In addition, the natural-gas expansion may present some near-term economic benefits for middle- and lower-income Americans by creating jobs and stimulating the manufacturing sector. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/NaturalGasReport.pdf [PDF format, 26 pages].
Environment America. July 2013.
Solar energy is on the rise. America has more than three times as much solar photovoltaic capacity today as in 2010, and more than 10 times as much as in 2007. In the first three months of 2013, solar power accounted for nearly half of the new electricity generating capacity in the United States. The price of solar energy is falling rapidly, and each year tens of thousands of additional Americans begin to reap the benefits of clean energy from the sun, generated right on the rooftops of their homes or places of business. America’s solar energy revolution has been led by 12 states – the “Dazzling Dozen” – that have used public policies to open the door for solar energy and are reaping the rewards as a result. The pathway to a solar future laid out by the Dazzling Dozen is open to every state. By following their lead and implementing a new wave of public policies to expand access to solar energy, the United States can work toward the goal of getting at least 10 percent of our energy from the sun by 2030. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Center for American Progress. July 18, 2013.
Each year the U.S. government loans hundreds of billions of dollars to American households and businesses through federal credit programs. This credit is extended throughout the economy in a number of sectors, ranging from education to agriculture, housing, and small businesses. In his Climate Action Plan released last month, President Barack Obama announced new ways that this money would also be used to support clean energy. Each of these efforts requires unique tools, but federal credit—loans and loan guarantees that the government offers to businesses and households—is a theme that runs through every effort. [Note: contains copyrighted material].