Center for Energy and Climate Solutions. January 2013.
The Plug-in Electric Vehicle Action Tool is the synthesis of 2 workshops as well as research conducted by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). The PEV Action Tool helps state departments of transportation determine their goals for plug-in electric vehicle deployment and to chart out a path for reaching those goals. The PEV Action Tool is also a resource for learning about plug-in electric vehicles and best practices from other state agencies. Although state departments of transportation are the primary audience, many of the suggested actions and resources in the tool are applicable to other public entities such as local governments and other state agencies. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.c2es.org/docUploads/pev-action-tool.pdf [PDF format, 53 pages].
Congressional Research Service. January 8, 2013.
In the United States, desalination and membrane technologies are increasingly used to augment municipal water supply, to produce high quality industrial water supplies, and to reclaim contaminated supplies (including from oil and gas development). Desalination processes generally treat seawater or brackish water to produce a stream of freshwater, and a separate, saltier stream of water that requires disposal (often called waste concentrate). Wider adoption of desalination is constrained by financial, environmental, and regulatory issues. Emerging technologies (e.g., forward osmosis, nanocomposite and chlorine resistant membranes) show promise for reducing desalination costs. Research to support development of emerging technologies and to reduce desalination’s environmental and social impacts is particularly relevant to the debate on the future level and nature of federal desalination assistance. The federal government generally has been involved primarily in desalination research and development (including for military applications), some demonstration projects, and select full-scale facilities. For the most part, local governments, sometimes with state-level involvement, are responsible for planning, testing, building, and operating desalination facilities. Some states, universities, and private entities also undertake and support desalination research. While interest in desalination persists among some Members, especially with drought concerns high, efforts to maintain or expand federal activities and investment are challenged by the domestic fiscal climate and differing views on federal roles and priorities.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40477.pdf [PDF format, 18 pages].
Council on Foreign Relations. October 3, 2012.
In the wake of the recent economic crisis, many statehouses and city halls face worrying fiscal stress that could have national ramifications. Federal stimulus funding—a multi-year lifeline for state and city coffers—is petering out before tax revenues fully recover and forcing many sub-national governments to consider tax hikes and/or spending cuts that could slow recovery and, in some cases, undermine long-term growth. In particular, funding for infrastructure and education—of which states and cities are by far the primary sources—are under the budget knife. [Note: contains copyrighted material].