Congressional Research Service. November 19, 2013.
Growth in U.S. shale gas production involves the expansion of natural gas pipeline infrastructure to transport natural gas from producing regions to consuming markets, typically in other states. Over 300,000 miles of interstate transmission pipeline already transport natural gas across the United States. However, if the growth in U.S. shale gas continues, the requirement for new pipelines could be substantial. This ongoing expansion has increased congressional interest in the role of the federal government in the certification (permitting) of interstate natural gas pipelines.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43138.pdf [PDF format, 17 pages].
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 22, 2013.
Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used to recover oil and natural gas from underground low permeability rock formations. Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping fluids (primarily water and a small portion of chemicals, along with sand or other proppant) under high pressure into rock formations to crack them and allow the resources inside to flow to a production well. The technique has been the subject of controversy because of the potential effects that hydraulic fracturing and related oil and gas production activities may have on the environment and health. This report focuses on selected legal issues related to the use of hydraulic fracturing. It examines some of the requirements for hydraulic fracturing contained in major federal environmental laws. It also provides an overview of issues involving state preemption of local zoning authority, as well as state tort law.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43152.pdf [PDF format, 37 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].
Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. September 26, 2013.
Most Americans (65%) continue to favor building the Keystone XL pipeline, perhaps the most politically contentious energy issue in President Obama’s second term. Yet when it comes to another issue making headlines – a proposal to tighten greenhouse gas emissions from power plants – the public favors stricter limits, by exactly the same margin as the Keystone pipeline (65% to 30%). [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.people-press.org/files/legacy-pdf/9-26-13%20Energy%20Release.pdf [PDF format, 19 pages]