Environmental policies (1 - 10 of 92 items)
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'...
Energy Policy Act of 2005: BLM's Use of Section 390 Categorical Exclusions for Oil and Gas Development
GAO-11-941T: Published: Sep 9, 2011. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 2011.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was enacted in part to expedite domestic oil and gas development. Section 390 of the act authorized the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to use categorical exclusions to streamline the environmental analysis required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) when approving certain oil and gas activities. Numerous questions...
Hydropower Relicensing: Stakeholders' Views on the Energy Policy Act Varied, but More Consistent Information Needed
GAO-10-770: Published: Aug 4, 2010. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 2010.
Under the Federal Power Act, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issues licenses for up to 50 years to construct and operate nonfederal hydropower projects. These projects must be relicensed when their licenses expire to continue operating. Relevant federal resource agencies issue license conditions to protect federal lands and prescriptions to assist fish passage on these projects. Un...
Vehicle Fuel Economy: NHTSA and EPA's Partnership for Setting Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards Improved Analysis and Should Be Maintained
GAO-10-336: Published: Feb 25, 2010. Publicly Released: Apr 1, 2010.
In May 2009, the U.S. administration announced plans to increase the Department of Transportation's (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards and establish the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for vehicles. NHTSA redesigned CAFE standards for light trucks for model years 2008 throug...
Oil and Gas Bonds: Bonding Requirements and BLM Expenditures to Reclaim Orphaned Wells
GAO-10-245: Published: Jan 27, 2010. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2010.
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 directs the Department of the Interior (Interior) to manage lands for multiple uses while also taking any action to prevent "unnecessary or undue degradation" of the land. To do this, Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM), among other things, requires oil and gas operators to reclaim the land they disturb and post a bond to help ensure they d...
Energy Policy Act of 2005: Greater Clarity Needed to Address Concerns with Categorical Exclusions for Oil and Gas Development under Section 390 of the Act
GAO-09-872: Published: Sep 16, 2009. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 2009.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was enacted in part to expedite oil and gas development. Section 390 of the act authorized the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to use categorical exclusions to streamline the environmental analysis required when approving certain oil and gas activities. Numerous questions have been raised about how and when BLM should use these section 390...
Motor Fuels: Stakeholder Views on Compensating for the Effects of Gasoline Temperature on Volume at the Pump
GAO-08-1114: Published: Sep 25, 2008. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 2008.
The volume, but not the energy content, of hydrocarbon fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, varies in response to changes in temperature. Thus, because of expansion, the energy content per gallon of 90 degree fuel is less than that of 60 degree fuel. States and localities adopt and enforce weights and measures regulations, often using the model regulatory standards published by the National Institu...
Architect of the Capitol: Progress in Improving Energy Efficiency and Options for Decreasing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
GAO-08-917T: Published: Jun 18, 2008. Publicly Released: Jun 18, 2008.
In April 2007, GAO reported that 96 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from the Capitol Hill Complex facilities--managed by the Architect of the Capitol (AOC)--resulted from electricity use throughout the complex and combustion of fossil fuels in the Capitol Power Plant. The report concluded that AOC and other legislative branch agencies could benefit from conducting energy audits to identify...
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Opportunities Remain to Improve Oversight and Management of Oil and Gas Activities on National Wildlife Refuges
GAO-07-829R: Published: Jun 29, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2007.
The mission of the Department of the Interior's (DOI) Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) includes administering a national network of refuges for the conservation, management, and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations. The refuges are unique in that they are the only federal...
Oil And Gas Development: Increased Permitting Activity Has Lessened BLM's Ability to Meet Its Environmental Protection Responsibilities
GAO-05-418: Published: Jun 17, 2005. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2005.
Rising U.S. energy consumption and concerns about dependency on foreign energy sources have prompted the administration to aggressively pursue domestic oil and gas production, including production on public lands, which in turn has generated concern that the impacts of this activity may compromise the use of public land for other purposes. GAO determined (1) the extent to which the level of oil an...