All Topics » Energy
Energy (151 - 160 of 2,521 items)
Renewable Energy: Agencies Have Taken Steps Aimed at Improving the Permitting Process for Development on Federal Lands
GAO-13-189: Published: Jan 18, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 2013.
Since passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005), federal land management agencies--primarily the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM)--have received hundreds of applications for utilityscale renewable energy projects and authorized 25 projects: 7 wind, 10 solar, and 8 geothermal projects. Applications for the majority of projects were withdrawn by the applicants...
Pipeline Permitting: Interstate and Intrastate Natural Gas Permitting Processes Include Multiple Steps, and Time Frames Vary
GAO-13-221: Published: Feb 15, 2013. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 2013.
Both the interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline permitting processes are complex and can involve multiple federal, state, and local agencies, as well as public interest groups and citizens, and include multiple steps. The interstate process involves a voluntary pre-filing phase, an application phase, and a post-authorization phase with multiple steps that stakeholders reported to be consis...
Pipeline Safety: Better Data and Guidance Could Improve Operators' Responses to Incidents
GAO-13-284T: Published: Jan 28, 2013. Publicly Released: Jan 28, 2013.
Numerous variables--some of which are under operators' control--influence the ability of transmission pipeline operators to respond to incidents. For example, the location of response personnel and the use of manual or automated valves can affect the amount of time it takes for operators to respond to incidents. However, because the advantages and disadvantages of installing an automated valve are...
Pipeline Safety: Better Data and Guidance Needed to Improve Pipeline Operator Incident Response
GAO-13-168: Published: Jan 23, 2013. Publicly Released: Jan 23, 2013.
The Department of Transportation's (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has an opportunity to improve the ability of pipeline operators to respond to incidents by developing a performance-based approach for incident response times. The ability of transmission pipeline operators to respond to incidents--such as leaks and ruptures--is affected by numerous variables, s...
Department of Energy: Better Information Needed to Determine If Nonmajor Projects Meet Performance Targets
GAO-13-129: Published: Dec 19, 2012. Publicly Released: Jan 22, 2013.
Of the 71 nonmajor projects that the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) completed or had under way from fiscal years 2008 to 2012, 21 met or are expected to meet their performance targets for scope, cost, and completion date. These projects included a $22 million EM project to expand an existing waste disposal fa...
Hanford Waste Treatment Plant: DOE Needs to Take Action to Resolve Technical and Management Challenges
GAO-13-38: Published: Dec 19, 2012. Publicly Released: Jan 18, 2013.
The Department of Energy (DOE) faces significant technical challenges in successfully constructing and operating the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) project that is to treat millions of gallons of highly radioactive liquid waste resulting from the production of nuclear weapons. DOE and Bechtel National, Inc. identified hundreds of technical challenges that vary in significance and p...
Firms Reported to Have Sold Iran Refined Petroleum Products or Engaged in Commercial Activities in Iran's Energy Sector
GAO-13-173R: Published: Dec 7, 2012. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 2012.
Our reviews of open sources published between January 1, 2009 and September 30, 2012 identified a total of 17 foreign firms that were reported to have sold refined petroleum products to Iran during that same time period. Our review of open sources published from January 2012 through September 2012 indicated that only 1 of these 17 firms--Sytrol--was reported to have sold refined petroleum products...
Combating Nuclear Smuggling: Megaports Initiative Faces Funding and Sustainability Challenges
GAO-13-37: Published: Oct 31, 2012. Publicly Released: Nov 28, 2012.
As of August 2012, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) had completed 42 of 100 planned Megaports projects in 31 countries and, as of December 2011, NNSA had spent about $850 million on the Megaports Initiative (Initiative). NNSA’s Initiative has equipped these seaports with radiation detection equipment, established training programs for foreign personnel, and created a sustainab...
Electricity: Significant Changes Are Expected in Coal-Fueled Generation, but Coal is Likely to Remain a Key Fuel Source
GAO-13-72: Published: Oct 29, 2012. Publicly Released: Nov 28, 2012.
Retirements of older units, retrofits of existing units with pollution controls, and the construction of some new coal-fueled units are expected to significantly change the coal-fueled electricity generating fleet, making it capable of emitting lower levels of pollutants than the current fleet but reducing its future electricity generating capacity. Two broad trends are affecting power companies'...
Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Oversight and Status of Implementing a Risk-Informed Approach to Fire Safety
GAO-13-8: Published: Oct 22, 2012. Publicly Released: Nov 26, 2012.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), together with plant operators, has made progress in resolving three fire safety issues raised in GAO's 2008 report by implementing GAO's recommendations or taking other actions. NRC implemented the recommendation on multiple spurious operations (malfunctions caused by fire that could cause safety-related equipment to malfunction) by issuing new guidance or...