Natural resources (61 - 70 of 304 items)
Manufactured Homes: State-Based Replacement Programs May Provide Benefits, but Energy Savings Do Not Fully Offset Costs
GAO-13-373: Published: Mar 28, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 2013.
GAO identified three statesMaine, Montana, and Washingtonthat have developed pilot programs focused on replacing older manufactured homes using a combination of state and federal funds. The three programs were relatively small, accounting for about $4.5 million in spending and responsible for replacing 81 homes, over about 2 years. The programs differed in requirements, including wheth...
Wind Energy: Additional Actions Could Help Ensure Effective Use of Federal Financial Support
GAO-13-136: Published: Mar 11, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 2013.
GAO identified 82 federal wind-related initiatives, with a variety of key characteristics, implemented by nine agencies in fiscal year 2011. Five agencies--the Departments of Energy (DOE), the Interior, Agriculture (USDA), Commerce, and the Treasury--collectively implemented 73 of the initiatives. The 82 initiatives incurred about $2.9 billion in wind-related obligations and provided estimated win...
Department of Energy: Concerns with Major Construction Projects at the Office of Environmental Management and NNSA
GAO-13-484T: Published: Mar 20, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 20, 2013.
In response to GAO reports over the past few years on management weaknesses in major projects (i.e., those costing $750 million or more), the Department of Energy (DOE) has undertaken a number of reforms since March 2009, including those overseen by the Office of Environmental Management (EM) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). For example, DOE has updated program and project...
Department of Energy: Status of Loan Programs
GAO-13-331R: Published: Mar 15, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 15, 2013.
As of January 29, 2013, Department of Energy (DOE) was considering using $15.1 billion of the $34.8 billion in remaining loan guarantee authority for loan guarantees requested by 13 active Loan Guarantee Program (LGP) applications. According to DOE officials, the agency planned to use all of the remaining $170 million in credit subsidy appropriations to support active applications for energy effic...
Modernizing the Nuclear Security Enterprise: Observations on DOE's and NNSA's Efforts to Enhance Oversight of Security, Safety, and Project and Contract Management
GAO-13-482T: Published: Mar 13, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 2013.
The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a separately organized agency within DOE, continue to face challenges in ensuring that oversight of security activities is effective. For example, in July 2012, after three trespassers gained access to the protected security area directly adjacent to one of the nation's most critically important nuclear weapon-...
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...
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...
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'...