- Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies -- Click to view this document
- Recently Expired Housing Related Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders"): In Brief -- Click to view this document
- Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Related Non-Tariff Barriers to Agricultural Trade -- Click to view this document
- Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: A Brief Overview -- Click to view this document
- Unlawfully Present Aliens, Driver\'s Licenses, and Other State-Issued ID: Select Legal Issues -- Click to view this document
- Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background and Issues for Congress -- Click to view this document
- Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress -- Click to view this document
- Runaway and Homeless Youth: Demographics and Programs -- Click to view this document
- The Budget Control Act and Trends in Discretionary Spending -- Click to view this document
- The U.S. Secret Service: History and Missions -- Click to view this document
- Survivor Benefits for Families of Civilian Federal Employees and Retirees -- Click to view this document
- The Peace Corps: Current Issues -- Click to view this document
- Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress -- Click to view this document
- Navy Ship Names: Background For Congress -- Click to view this document
Electric Power Sector: A Compendium
This Compendium contains a wealth of information on topics includingÂ energy tax incentives; energy storage for power grids andÂ electric transportation; privacy and cybersecurity for smart meterÂ data; EPAâ€™s mercury and air toxics standards; lighting industryÂ trends; federal agency authority to contract for electric power andÂ renewable energy supply; potential energy sources qualifying underÂ the Clean Energy Standard; EPAâ€™s proposed rule for coolingÂ water intake structures; and a discussion of whether biopower isÂ carbon neutral.
The electric power industry is in the process of transformation. Since 1978,Â technology improvements, changes in the economics for generating electricity,Â and new federal laws and regulations (such as the Public UtilityÂ Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, the Energy Policy Acts of 1992 and 2005,Â the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and Federal EnergyÂ Regulatory Commission (FERC) orders, have created a new competitiveÂ landscape for electricity. Competition is occurring on the wholesale level,Â and some states have moved toward retail competition. Other states haveÂ retreated from open markets due to concerns over impacts on power prices. Congress continuesÂ to face the issue of how much to intervene to ensure a reliable and affordable supply ofÂ electricity throughout the United States.
The electric utility system is vulnerable to outages due to system operator errors, weather-relatedÂ damage, terrorist attacks, and shortages of transmission and generating capacity. The blackout ofÂ 2003 in the Northeast, Midwest, and Canada highlighted the need for operations improvementsÂ and greater standardization of operating rules. Pursuant to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, FERCÂ named the North American Electric Reliability Corp. as the electric reliability organizationÂ required by the act. The ERO is developing mandatory and enforceable standards for the sectorÂ to ensure bulk power reliability.
Another provision in EPACT05 required the Secretary of Energy to study congestion on theÂ transmission system. A competitive bulk power market depends on adequate infrastructure.Â Transmission systems were developed for limited movements of electricity, not the regionalÂ power transfers that have become common. Even though transmission of electricity is consideredÂ interstate commerce, siting transmission lines remains the responsibility of the states. EPACT05Â gives the Secretary of Energy the federal power of eminent domain to obtain rights-of-ways forÂ transmission lines in designated areas if states do not act to site them. Congress is expected toÂ continue oversight on the implementation of EPACT05.
The electric power sector is dependent on adequate fuel supply. The power system has becomeÂ increasingly dependent on natural gas to fuel new power plants, raising concerns aboutÂ dependence on a fuel sometimes viewed as supply-limited and subject to price volatility. TheÂ most abundant domestic fossil fuel is coal, but the future use of coal is uncertain due to globalÂ warming concerns. Greater use of nuclear power may be constrained by the cost of building newÂ plants and the availability of federal financial supports. One answer may be renewable power,Â but these technologies are still under development and are dependent on federal financialÂ incentives. The resolution of these types of issues, which raise concerns over what kinds of newÂ power plants should be built and how they should be fueled, may ultimately turn onÂ congressional decisions on climate change.
Updated January 30, 2013
THE DOCUMENT INCLUDES FOLLOWING FILES:
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|1||C-12012 Electric Power Sector C12012.pdf||Jan 30, 2013||C12012||438||$79.95||ADD TO CART|