Greenhouse Effect: DOE's Programs and Activities Relevant to the Global Warming Phenomenon

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-03-05.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

-----...-            -.--. -__---_       ‘IJnited   States   General   Accounting   Office

GAO                                      Ikiefing Report to the Chairman,
                                         Subcommittee on Environment, Energy
                                         and Natural Resources, Comrnittee on
                                         Government Operations,
                                         House of Representatives
iGcl1       1!)!I0
                                         DOE’s Programs and
                                         Activities Relevant to
                                         the Global Warming


           United States
c;AO       General Accounting Office
           Washington, D.C. 20648

           Resources, Community, and
           Economic Development Division


           March 5,199O

           The Honorable Mike Synar
           Chairman, Subcommittee on Environment,
             Energy and Natural Resources
           Committee on Government Operations
           House of Representatives

           Dear Mr. Chairman:

           This briefing report responds to your letter of October 20, 1988, request-
           ing us to identify Department of Energy (DoE) programs and activities
           associated with global warming and DOE efforts to incorporate this issue
           into its energy policy and planning activities. Concerns about global
           warming stem from mounting scientific evidence that increasing concen-
           trations of carbon dioxide and other trace gases generated by human
           activity are beginning to alter the heat balance of the earth’s

           You specifically requested information on (1) the scientific understand-
           ing of the global warming phenomenon and DoE'S research efforts to fill
           information gaps on the issue, (2) the nature of program planning and
           criteria used by DOE for evaluating global warming research and devel-
           opment, (3) leadership in DOE on the global warming issue and efforts to
           integrate its various activities into energy policy and planning consider-
           ations, and (4) proposed policy and/or program changes made by
           responsible agencies or groups for improving energy efficiency and/or
           reducing energy-related emissions with potential climate change effects.

           This report contains information orally presented to your office. In sum-
           mary, we found the following:

       l   While considerable understanding of global climate systems has been
           gained in the past few years, major sources of uncertainty remain,
           including the role played by factors such as cloud cover, oceans, and
           vegetation growth. To help fill these information gaps, DOE undertakes
           direct research and collects data needed for carbon and climate system
           models used to predict potential climate changes. These direct research
           and development efforts represent a requested $28 million in fiscal year
           1990 funds, an increase of about $5 million over fiscal year 1989
       l   DOEalso conducts a wide range of other research development and dem-
           onstration programs it considers indirectly related to the global warming

           Page 1                       GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Wamdng

      issue, including efforts to increase energy efficiencies, promote conser-
      vation, and develop non-fossil energy technologies. For fiscal year 1990,
      DOE requested about $1.3 billion for these program areas, about $330
      million more than the fiscal year 1989 funding level. In these program
      areas DOE has not established any written criteria or guidance to give
      special priority to projects on the basis of their relevance or potential
      impact on global climate change. Senior DOE officials stated that manage-
      ment considers the issue when making funding decisions.
    . In July 1989, the Secretary of Energy established six principles that will
      form DOE'S approach to the global climate change issue, and stated that
      the issue will be a central part of DOE'S efforts to develop a new National
      Energy Strategy. In addition, several management initiatives have been
      taken that were related to the issue. These efforts have included compil-
      ing an inventory of DOE programs relevant to the issue, organizing a
      global warming conference, and establishing a DOE Climate Issue
      Response Group.
    l Public and private organizations, including the Environmental Protec-
      tion Agency and the World Resources Institute, have made many pro-
      posals to address global warming. Generally, the proposals suggested
      increasing energy efficiency, and switching from fossil fuel to non-fossil
      fuel based technologies, and/or reducing the emissions from fossil-fuel

        Section 1 contains background information on the global warming issue
        and our objectives, scope, and methodology. Section 2 provides details
        on DOE policies and research efforts, while section 3 provides examples
        of energy policy and program changes to mitigate the global warming
        phenomenon that have been suggested by various federal and non-fed-
        eral authorities.

        Although this report, as you requested, is limited to a discussion of DOE'S
        programs, we expect to issue two reports early in calendar year 1990
        that will provide a more expansive discussion of the federal govern-
        ment’s efforts on the global warming issue. These reports are (1) Global
        Warming: Further Research Will Reduce Scientific Uncertainties (GAO/
        Hem-90-68) and (2) Global Warming: Administration Approach Cautious
        Pending Validation of Threat (GAOINSIAD-90-63).

Y       To respond to your request, we interviewed senior DOE officials and
        managers responsible for programs and activities relevant to the global
        warming issue. We also reviewed (1) pertinent program documents and
        budget requests for each DOE program area, (2) proposed legislation and

        Page 2                        GAO/RCED90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming

congressional hearings, (3) various federal and non-federal reports and
studies, and (4) numerous articles from various scientific and environ-
mental journals. We did not evaluate whether individual DOE projects
that the department considered relevant to global climate change were
so, nor assess the relative funding priority given to individual programs
or projects. We discussed the contents of a draft of this report with rep-
resentatives of the Deputy Under Secretary; however, as agreed with
your office, we did not obtain official written comments on this report.

As also arranged with your office, unless you publicly announce its con-
tents earlier, we will make no further distribution of the report until 30
days from the date of this letter. At that time, we will send copies to the
appropriate House and Senate committees, the Secretary of Energy, and
the Director, Office of Management and Budget. Copies will also be made
available to others upon request.

Should you have questions or need additional information, please con-
tact me at (202) 275-1441. Major contributors to this report are included
in appendix III.

Sincerely yours,

Victor S. Rezendes
Director, Energy Issues

Page 3                       GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming

Skction 1                                                                                                  6
Introduction             What Is Global Warming?                                                        6
                         Federal Programs and Activities                                                9
                         International Attention to Global Climate Change                              11
                         Objectives, Scope, and Methodology                                            11

Section 2                                                                                              14
DOE Policy and           DOE Policy on Global Warming                                                  14
                         DOE’s Program Areas Relevant to Global Climate Change                         16
programs Related to      Management Initiatives Focus on Oversight and                                 17
Global Warming              Coordination

Section 3                                                                                             20
Suggested Changes to     Policy Options Proposed by Draft EPA Report                                  20
                         Office of Technology Assessment                                              22
Energy Policies and      World Resources Institute                                                    23
Programs to Address
Global Warming by
Other Federal and
Organizations and
Individual Authorities
Appendixes               Appendix I: Descriptions of DOE Program Areas Relevant                       26
                             to the Global Climate-Change Issue
                         Appendix II: Additional Information on Suggested Energy                      39
                             Policy and Program Changes to Address Global
                         Appendix III: Major Contributors to This Briefing Report

Table                    Table 2.1: DOE’s Fiscal Years 1989 Budget and 1990
                             Budget Request for Direct and Indirect Programs
                             Relevant to Global Climate Change by Major DOE
                             Program Areas

                         Page 4                      GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming


Fqgures   Figure 1.1: The Greenhouse Effect                                                  7
 I        Figure 1.2: Comparison of Energy-Related Greenhouse                                9
              Gases to Non Energy-Related Gases


          CIRG       Climate Response Group
          CES        Committee on Earth Sciences
          CO,        carbon dioxide
          WC         chlorofluorocarbon
          cris       Congressional Research Service
          DOE        Department of Energy
          EPIZI      Electric Power Research Institute
           _1        Environmental Protection Agency
          ES&II      Office of Environment, Safety and Health
          II’CC      Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
          NAS        National Academy of Sciences
          NASA       National Aeronautics and Space Administration
          NOAA       National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
          NO,        nitrogen oxides
          osw        Office of Science and Technology Policy
          OTA        Office of Technology Assessment
          IJSGS      IJS. Geological Survey
          WKI        World Resources Institute

          Page 6                       GAO/RCED-90.74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
Section 1

Irbroduction                                                                                           \

                  Concern about global warming stems from increased concentrations of
                  carbon dioxide (CO,) and other gaseous emissions generated from fossil-
                  based energy production and use, and the belief that these increases are
                  contributing to a steady increase in atmospheric and surface tempera-
                  tures-the so-called “greenhouse effect.” According to authorities,
                  including DOE scientists, rising temperatures will cause changes in global
                  climate and earth systems, significantly affecting human society and

                 Not surprisingly, the greenhouse effect and its energy-related implica-
                 tions have generated considerable political and public attention in the
                 United States and many other industrialized nations. In the United
                 States, DOE is one of several federal agencies engaged in atmospheric and
                 climate research and is the major agency responsible for researching and
                 encouraging developments in energy-production and energy-use

                 Mounting scientific evidence suggests that increasing concentrations of
What Is Global   carbon dioxide (CO,) and certain other trace gases generated by human
Warming?         activity are beginning to alter the chemical heat balance of our atmo-
                 sphere. This phenomenon traps heat in the earth’s atmosphere that
                 would otherwise be released into outer space, resulting in a gradual
                 warming of the atmosphere. The process is shown visually in figure 1.1.

                 Page 8                        GAO/RCED-QO-74BR DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
                                                  &don    1

Fig&e 1.1: The                 Effect

                                             Atmospheric CO, is One of Several Trace Gases That
                                                 Absorb Outgoing Radiation From the Earth’s
                                               Surface, Thereby Increasing the Amount of Heat
                                              Retained By the Atmosphere And Creating What is
                                                   Referred To As the “Greenhouse Effect”

                                  incoming energy                                                      Outgoing


                                                                                                         Energy trapped
                                                                                                       by the atmosphere
                                                                                                         at today’s CO,
                                                                                                           OTG Levels

         OTG = Other Trece Gases E. G., Cl-l+ 03, CFC., Etc.

                                                 Source: DOE 1987 Annual Report to Congress, p. 164.

                                                 Page 7                                 GAO/RCED-QO-74BR DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
    Section 1

    CO,, which is essentially transparent to sunlight entering our atmo-
    sphere, absorbs or blocks some of the outgoing solar heat energy
    reflected from the earth’s surface, as well as other heat energy gener-
    ated by human and naturally occurring activities. An equilibrium
    between incoming and outgoing energy has maintained the relative sta-
    bility of the earth’s systems for thousands of years. DOE scientists and
    others have noted that with increasing concentrations of CO, entering
    the atmosphere, equilibrium is shifting so that more heat is being
    retained in the atmosphere than is being released into outer space.

    According to DOE, atmospheric concentrations of CO, have increased
    approximately 25 percent from 1800 to 1985, mainly because of human
    influences-first  from deforestation during massive global expansion of
    agriculture, and now primarily from fossil fuel burning. According to
    atmospheric scientists, current climate models suggest that the global
    average surface temperature will increase by some 2 to 6 degrees centi-
    grade during the next century. These changes will in turn affect other
    earth systems including sea level, fisheries, agriculture, water resources,
    ecological systems, as well as human welfare.

    While CO, is most frequently identified as the leading cause of the
    greenhouse effect, other trace gases are now estimated to be significant.
    Among these gases are nitrous oxide, methane (better known as natural
    gas), ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’S).According to current data,
    the buildup of these gases (with the exception of nitrous oxide) is occur-
    ring more rapidly than the rate of growth of CO,. Further, because mole-
    cule for molecule these gases are more efficient absorbers of solar
    radiation than CO,, it is believed that in the future they may become
    greater contributors to global warming than CO,.

    According to DOE, energy production and use account for about half of
    all the U.S. manmade gas emissions that produce climate change. The
    remainder arise from other sources, including agriculture, wetlands, and
    industrial products. Figure 1.2 shows the percentage relationship
    between energy-related greenhouse gases and non energy-related
    sources. As the figure shows, CO, is the most important of these gases in
    terms of total emissions, accounting for about 70 percent of the total
    energy-related climate change gases released.

    Page R                       GAO/RCED-QO-74BR DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
                                        Section 1

Figuire 1.2: Comparison of Energy-
Relejted Greenhouse Gases to Non
Enejgy-Related Gases                                                 GREENHOUSE GASES
                                                                           Fraction Energy Related
                                                   0.6 1

                                                                                     I mk~ Energy Related
                                                                                       0   Non-energy Related I




                                                           Carbon      Methane           CFks           N&$ ees”       Ozone
                                                           Dioxide                                         8

                                       Source: Inventory of DOE Global Climate Change Programs, March 1989

                                       The federal government pursues a wide range of programs and activities
Federal Programs and                   relevant to the global climate-change issue through several agencies and
Activities                             special offices besides DOE. Among them are the National Science Foun-
                                       dation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Envi-
                                       ronmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Agriculture,
                                       National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the US.
                                       Geological Survey (IJSGS).

                                       Among other projects, the work of these agencies includes

                                     . researching the basic and applied science questions about the relation-
                                       ships and changes in the atmospheric and earth systems;
                                     . studying and assessing the array of potential or predicted environmen-
                                       tal, ecological, societal, and economic impacts of climate change, and
                                       data gathering and assessing for policy analysis; and

                                       Page 9                                GAO/RCED-90-74BR     DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
      Section 1
I     Introduction

    . researching and developing innovations and new technologies of energy
      supply, production, and end-use that are being commonly recognized as
      the potential major contributors to both the near- and long-term solu-
      tions to meet future energy demand as well as reduce or eliminate green-
      house gas emissions.

      For example, EPA'S efforts focus on assessing and evaluating the ecologi-
      cal, environmental and health related consequences of global change,
      which reflects its regulatory mission. In addition, EPA has also been
      involved in efforts to develop policy options for stabilizing and reducing
      greenhouse gas emissions. NASA focuses on earth sciences research from
      space, including broad scientific studies of the planet as an integrated
      system. The Department of Commerce, through NOAA focuses on its mis-
      sion-directed activities, including research on the physical and chemical
      processes in the climate system, climate modeling, and diagnostic tech-
      niques for detecting global changes.

      Of special significance during the past 2 years has been the increased
      attention given to federal research initiatives overseen by the White
      House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and its Federal
      Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering and Technology. In April
      1987, the Director, OSTP, announced the establishment of the Committee
      on Earth Sciences (CES)specifically to coordinate federal research on
      earth sciences, identify policy and international issues, and conduct an
      array of activities designed to improve the effectiveness of federal
      research and development efforts. CES is composed of officials and
      experts in the various earth sciences and other disciplines from seven
      federal departments, including DOE.

      In a major initiative, CES has been coordinating the current array of fed-
      eral research programs that address the earth and atmospheric sciences
      and developing a framework to guide the planning and conduct of this
      work under what will now be referred to as the “U.S. Global Change
      Research Program.” The resulting report, Our Changing Planet: A U.S.
      Strategy for Global Change Research, which accompanied the Presi-
      dent’s FY 1990 budget, provided the objectives and goals of the new pro-
      gram and summarized a research plan and implementation strategy for
      the United States. In July 1989, CES issued a more detailed and compre-
      hensive research program plan,

      Page 10                      GAO/RCED-!20-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
                             Section 1

                             Since global climate change is an international issue, several interna-
Inbernational                tional groups are involved in research efforts. A major effort now
Atkention to Global          underway is the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Climate Change               Change (IPCC), established in 1987 by the World Meteorological Organi-
                             zation and the United Nations Environmental Program. Its basic tasks
                             are to (1) assess the scientific information on the various components of
                             the climate change, (2) assess the environmental and socioeconomic
                             effects of climate change, and (3) formulate global-response strategies
                             for managing the climate-change issue.

                             The IPCC established three working groups to address these tasks. United
                             States representatives to the IPCC are members of Working Groups I and
                             III. Working Group I is assessing available scientific information on cli-
                             mate change, and Working Group III is developing the international
                             response strategies to climate change. Working Group II is assessing the
                             environmental and socioeconomic impacts of climate change. DOE has
                             played an important role in planning the U.S. position and approach.
                             According to DOE managers, the IPCC initiatives are significant in estab-
                             lishing the international communication and cooperation needed to iden-
                             tify appropriate actions to address the issue.

                             Early in calendar year 1990, we expect to issue a report, Global Warm-
                             ing: Administration Approach Cautious Pending Validation of Threat
                             (GAo/NSIAD-SO-63), which will provide a broader discussion of federal
                             leadership, coordination, and international cooperation on the global cli-
                             mate-change issue.

                             In October 1988 the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment,
Objectives, Scope, and       Energy and Natural Resources, Committee on Government Operations,
Methodology                  asked us to review the programs and activities of the Department of
                             Energy (DOE) that address the global warming issue, and DOE'S efforts to
                             make the issue part of its energy policy and planning considerations.
                             The request focused on several areas of interest about DOE programs,

                         l   the basic science understanding of the global warming phenomenon and
                             areas where further research is needed to improve the scientific capabil-
                             ity to predict, with appropriate assurance, potential climatic changes
                             and the extent of global warming under various scenarios,
                         l   program planning and criteria for global warming-related research and
                             development initiatives,

                             Page 11                      GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
  Section 1

. leadership in WE: on the global warming issue and DOE'S effort to inte-
  grate the issue into its energy policy and planning considerations, and
. potential policy and program changes that would improve energy effi-
  ciency, and reduce energy-related CO, and other greenhouse gas

  As agreed, we are providing information on DOE'S programs and activi-
  ties relevant to the global climate-change issue, as specified by the areas
  of concern contained in the Chairman’s request letter. Accordingly, we
  did not evaluate how well DOE is pursuing its programs and activities
  that are considered relevant to the global climate-change issue.

  To address the areas of interest, we interviewed senior DOE officials and
  program managers about their programs and activities relevant to the
  global climate-change issue. Among these were the Under Secretary, and
  selected Assistant and Deputy Assistant Secretaries of key organiza-
  tional components of DOE, and other key program officials. However, we
  primarily reviewed numerous departmental and program-level docu-
  ments, reports, and related materials on over 23 different program
  areas. We also obtained and reviewed a considerable number of reports,
  and related information from other federal agencies and private sector
  groups involved with the issue. Furthermore, we reviewed recent con-
  gressional hearings and bills introduced over the past two Congresses
  that were related to the issue.

  To research information gaps in the basic science of the global warming
  phenomenon, we reviewed Office of Energy Research reports and
  related documents generated by the Carbon Dioxide Research Division,
  and interviewed key officials and program managers of this work. We
  supplemented this information with documentation from non-DOE:
  sources involved in researching the scientific questions about the

  To address the concern about program planning and criteria for funding
  projects that would affect the issue, we interviewed senior level DOE offi-
  cials about the program and project selection process. We did not evalu-
  ate individual project selection decisions. To determine DOE leadership in
  the issue, we interviewed senior level officials, including the Under Sec-
  retary, and reviewed various departmental documents and related

  Page 12                       GAO/RCED-QO-74BR DOE’s Programs on Global Warmiug
Section 1

To address the concerns about further efforts to improve energy effi-
ciency, and reduce CO, and other greenhouse gases, we obtained docu-
mentation from DOE on its perspective of the global warming issue and
how it should be addressed, and on its efforts to improve energy effi-
ciency and reduce greenhouse gases. We supplemented this information
by assembling the views of other experts and organizations on proposed
energy-related options and strategies for addressing global warming.

As agreed, we did not obtain official agency comments on a draft of this
briefing report; however, we did discuss its contents with representa-
tives of the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary. Our work was con-
ducted between December 1988 and July 1989.

Page 13                      GAO/RCED-QO-74BR
                                           DOE's Programs on Global Warming
       Section 2

       I@E Policy and ProgramsRelatedto

                         DOE pursues a range of energy science and technology research, develop-
                         ment, and demonstration programs as well as assistance and informa-
                         tion programs that are directly or indirectly related to global warming.
                         Generally, DOE'S policy is to emphasize increasing the understanding of
                         basic scientific phenomena affecting global climate. Accordingly, DOE
                         has increased its budget for direct research and taken several initiatives
                         to improve management oversight and internal and external communi-
                         cation of its global warming activities.

                         DOE'S programs indirectly related to global warming are aimed at
                         increasing energy efficiency, developing non-fossil fuel based technolo-
                         gies, and reducing the environmental impact of fossil fuels. DOE advo-
                         cates continuing these programs for a variety of reasons, but has not
                         altered its planning or budgeting criteria to emphasize relevance of the
                         programs to global warming. DOE'S proposed funding for these program
                         areas for fiscal year 1990 is about $1.3 billion, an increase of about $330
                         million over the fiscal year 1989 budget levels.

                         WE has concluded that currently available information about the
  DOE Policy on Global   increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is cause for serious con-
  Warming                cern even at the most optimist,ic end of the range of predicted impacts.
                         However, because significant uncertainties remain in the scientific
                         understanding of the phenomenon, DOE advocates an emphasis on
                         research that is directly related to expanding the knowledge of CO,
                         effects on earth’s climatological and biological systems.


Direct Programs Aim at   The Associate Under Secretary of Energy, in August 11, 1988, testimony
Improving Knowledge of   before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, stated
                         that scientific uncertainties about global warming must be reduced
Climate Systems          before the Nation commits its economic future to drastic and potentially
                         misplaced policy responses. She also noted that reducing the scientific
                         uncertainties is crucial in building an international consensus on the
                         need for action and its appropriate form. DOE has proposed increasing
                         the budget for direct research from about $23 million in fiscal year 1989
                         to about $28 million in fiscal year 1990.

                         DOE’SCarbon Dioxide Research Program has provided considerable
                         understanding of the role of CO, on world climate change and global
                         warming. According to DOE, however, significant uncertainties surround
                         the understanding of the global climate and carbon system, and the nat-
                         urally occurring feedback mechanisms that could reduce any warming

                         Page 14                       GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
                            Section 2
                            DOE Policy and Programs Related to
                            Global Warming

                            trend caused by CO,. Cloud cover, the role of oceans as a reservoir for
                            CO,, and the implications of enhanced vegetation growth in reducing CO,
                            are among these areas of uncertainty.

                            According to an Office of Energy Research official, various environmen-
                            tal models used to predict potential change have been unable to agree on
                            the effects of CO, in specific geographical or regional areas. Until the
                            credibility of these models is improved, it will be difficult to predict
                            potential climate and temperature changes under various environmental
                            scenarios. According to DOE'S Director of Energy Research, about 10
                            more years of CO, and other greenhouse gas research may be needed.

                            Further information on government-wide environmental models and
                            research needs on this issue can be found in our report, Global Warming:
                            Further Research Will Reduce Scientific Uncertainties (GAO/RCED-90-t%),
                            which we expect to issue early in calendar year 1990.

Indirect Programs Address   DOE'S TJnder Secretary has stated that efforts to address global warming
Energy Efficiency           should continue to be directed at improvements to energy efficiency in
                            all energy technologies and in advancing non-fossil technologies includ-
Improvements and the        ing those based on renewables, nuclear, or fusion energy. DOEresearch
Advancement of All          and development programs encompassing these topics were established
Energy Technologies         for reasons other than global climate change, but by their nature may
                            contribute to the potential decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Total
                            funding for these program areas was $957 million in fiscal year 1989.
                            DOI+;has requested $1,287,000 million for fiscal year 1990. The largest
                            increase in proposed funding was for the Clean Coal Technology pro-
                            gram within the Office of Fossil Energy. DOE has requested $575 million,
                            which is a 242 percent increase over the fiscal year 1989 funding level.
                            DOE'S funding request for its conservation and renewable program area
                            and nuclear energy program area is reduced for fiscal year 1990.

                            DOISdoes not use funding criteria or other guidance to help plan, review,
                            or approve technology research, development, and demonstration pro-
                            grams and activities considered relevant to the global warming issue.
                            However, senior DOE officials advised us that while there is no estab-
                            lished criteria or guidance for assessing the significance of projects,
                            there is recognition of program and project relevance to the issue in
                            management program planning sessions and in the internal budget
                            review process.

                            Page 15                              GAO/RCED-QO-74BR DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
                          Section 2
                          DOE Policy and Programs Related to
                          Global Warming

                          As part of its program and budget-planning process, DOE obtains advice
                          from outside advisory panels composed of experts on particular areas of
                          energy research and technology development. Advice concerning the rel-
                          evance of global warming to a proposed research or development project
                          may come from these groups. For example, DOE advised us that, under
                          its Clean Coal Technology program, it sought advice for developing
                          global warming criteria for its May 1, 1989, demonstration program
                          solicitation. While DOE did not develop specific global-warming criteria,
                          its solicitation does offer credit to projects that will, in part, reduce
                          emissions of greenhouse gases.

                          DOEmanagement officially identified over 24 program areas it consid-
DOE’s Program Areas       ered relevant to the global climate-change issue. These program areas
Rdevant to Global         represented about $1 billion of DOE'S fiscal year 1989 appropriation. DOE
Climate Change            categorized them as either directly or indirectly related to the global cli-
                          mate-change issue. Most of these program areas were administered by
                          five of the major program office’s, including DOE'S offices of

                      . Energy Research,
                      l Environment, Safety, and Health,
                      l Conservation and Renewable Energy,
                      9 Fossil Energy, and
                      l Nuclear Energy.

                          While the nature and extent of each office’s involvement varies, each
                          contributes significantly to DOE'S collective efforts on global warming. In
                          this regard, these program offices are addressing either

                      l research and data gathering to better understand basic science climate-
                        change implications of CO, and other energy-generated gas emissions for
                        the atmosphere and earth systems;
                      q research, development, and demonstration of energy production and
                        end-use technologies that improve operating efficiencies and energy
                      9 research and demonstration of development of new technologies that
                        expand our energy options for the future and incorporate environmental
                        concerns in their design; and
                      . special policy and issue analyses, and data assembly efforts contributing
                        to the issue.

                          Page 16                              GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
                                           Section 2
                                           DDE Policy and Progrnme Related to
                                           Global Warming

                                           Table 2.1 shows the fiscal years 1989 budget and 1990 budget request
                                           for the major program areas identified by DOEas relevant to the global
                                           climate-change issues.

Ta le 2.1: DOE’s Fiscal Years 1989
6 dget and 1990 Budget Request for         Dollars in Thousands.___-        ____-I_
Di ect and Indirect Programs Relevant to                                                                  FY 1989 budget     FY 1990 request
GIf bal Climate Change by Major DOE                                         __-                                                       ____-.
P&gram Areas                               Direct Programs          .._.
                                           Energy Research                                                       $20,200              $27,200
                                           Environment, Safety and Health         ___~_____                        2,700 .-.             1,100
                                                Total                                                            $22,900             $28,300
                                           Indirect Programs             -..-_____               -.-___                             ----.~~
                                           Conservation and Renewables            ---.-_                        $302,3F-
                                                                                                                      -__             $198,600
                                           Energy Research            -___-                                       45,500                47,900
                                             Magnetic Fusion                                                     350,700               349,200
                                           Environment, Safety and Health                         _I__-             600        --__--     200
                                           Nuclear                                         .--                   102,800                56,700
                                           Fossil                                                                154,800               59,100
                                             Clean Coal -Technologya
                                                             --- .---___-                                       -167,600            575,000
                                                                                                                                  ___-~ . ~.
                                               Total                                                            $956,700          $1,287,000
                                           Total direct and indirect                                            $979,600          $1,315,000
                                           aMulti-yearDOE cost for DOE/Industry demonstration plants not included in total

                                           Appendix I provides further information on the objectives and activities
                                           of these areas.

                                           DOEmanagement has taken a number of initiatives over the past year to
Management                                 improve its oversight of the global climate-change issue and to improve
Initiatives Focus on                       the internal and external communication and coordination on the mat-
Oversight and                              ter. These initiatives include developing principles to guide DOEefforts
                                           on global warming, publishing an inventory of WE global climate-change
Coordination                               programs, holding a global warming roundtable conference in November
                                           1988, and establishing the DOEClimate Issue Response Group (CIRG) in
                                           January 1989.

Principles for Guiding DOE                 On July 26, 1989, the Secretary of Energy advised the Senate Committee
Efforts                                    on Energy and Natural Resources in a prepared statement that he had
                                           established six principles that will form DOE'Sapproach to global cli-
                                           mate-change policy. These are (1) take aggressive action on those issues
                                           on which scientific consensus exists, (2) assess the state of the science

                                           Page 17                                   GAO/RCED-YO-74BR DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
                          Section 2
                          DOE Policy and Programs Related to
                          Global Warming

                          on issues where no scientific consensus exists, and identify areas for
                          further inquiry, (3) where scientific uncertainty exists, move forward
                          with those measures that make sense on other grounds, such as effi-
                          ciency, (4) consider the costs and benefits of any response measures sug-
                          gested, (6) link responses to scientific and technical information, and (6)
                          determine how to evaluate and share technological responses with
                          developing countries.

                          In addition, the Secretary also advised the Congress that he had initi-
                          ated the development of a national energy strategy. The Secretary
                          announced his intention to incorporate global climate change, as well as
                          other environmental concerns in this effort, which is to result in a com-
                          prehensive plan to guide DOE activities.

Inventory of Global       In September 1988 DOE published “Inventory of DOE Programs Relevant
Climate Change Programs   to Global Climate Change, 1989-1990.“] This document describes DOE
                          programs determined to have some significant bearing on the emissions
                          of gases related to climate change arising from the production and use of
                          energy in the United States. The inventory identifies over 24 program
                          areas of DOE that cut across several of its major organizational compo-
                          nents. These areas represent a range of programs and activities involv-
                          ing basic energy and environmental science research, technological
                          research development and demonstration of energy systems, innova-
                          tions and processes, and various other data-gathering and information-
                          exchange activities.

                          Soon after the department distributed the inventory for review, the
                          Under Secretary established a process for reviewing and coordinating
                          information related to environmental issues, with focus on the global
                          warming issue. The Under Secretary pointed out that these issues will
                          increase in both prominence and complexity and will require careful and
                          thorough coordination of information to convey departmental views and

Global Warming            On November 22,1988, at the direction of the Under Secretary, a Global
Roundtable Conference     Warming Roundtable Conference was held at DOE headquarters in Wash-
                          ington, D.C. for senior DOE managers and other involved federal and non-
            *             federal experts and interested parties. The workshop provided a day-

                          ‘The WE Inventory was modified on several occasions through March 30,1989, including its title
                          and selected material on programs and funding levels.

                          Page 18                                GAO/RCEIHO-74BR       DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
                    Section 2
                    DOE Policy and Programs Related to
                    Global Wan&g

                    long 4-panel session led by representatives from DOE and other experts.
                    It focused on such topics as atmospheric composition, climate trends,
                    climate projections, climate models, and the scientific uncertainties of
                    climate change.

                    While the workshop assembled no report or document disseminating the
                    information it presented, according to a representative of the Office of
                    Policy, Planning and Analysis, the Conference provided an effective
                    forum for the presentation and discussion of views on the issue for
                    those attending the workshop.

DOE Climate Issue   On January 18, 1989, the Under Secretary established a DOE task force
Response Group      designated as the Climate Issue Response Group (CIRG). The CIRG was
                    instructed to examine a number of key issues facing DOE on the global
                    climate-change issue and report to the Under Secretary on its findings.
                    CIRG was directed to determine whether new policies and/or programs
                    are needed for DOE to play an active long-term role in responding to the
                    concerns over the possibility of global climate change.

                    CIRG issued a report on March 19, 1989, concluding that WE should
                    become proactive on the climate-change issue. Noting that DOE has never
                    effectively balanced energy and environmental issues, the report stated
                    that a single DOE official will be needed to be responsive to the increas-
                    ing demands that global climate change will place on DOEin the future.

                    Page 19                              GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
StiggestedChmges to Energy Policiesand
Programsto Address GlobalWarming by Other
Federal and Non-FederalOrganizationsand
hdividual Authorities
                    In addition to DOE'S views on how the global climate-change issue should
                    be addressed are the numerous views of other federal, non-federal, and
                    international groups and individual experts. Collectively, the proposals
                    address a wide-range of potential energy-related strategies and options
                    directed at production, and end-use technologies, many of which are not
                    unlike the direction offered by DOE.Numerous proposals have placed
                    emphasis on maximizing the efficiencies of all energy technologies, espe-
                    cially fossil technology, and on employing various conservation meas-
                    ures and technologies to help reduce energy demand and reduce CO, and
                    other harmful emissions. Further research and advancement of the non-
                    fossil technologies, including renewables (i.e., solar, wind, geothermal,
                    and hydroelectric) and the nuclear option are also among the major pro-
                    posals for addressing the issue, along with advancing research on fusion
                    energy and other major advances in energy production and transmis-
                    sion, including superconductivity research and application.

                    Among the federal providers of information on potential strategies and
                    options have been the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), Congres-
                    sional Research Service (CM), EPA, National Academy of Sciences (NAS),
                    NOAA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), as well as
                    others. Among the non-federal contributors to the issue that have been
                    involved with earth sciences, the environment, and energy technologies
                    are such groups as the World Resources Institute (WIZI), Electric Power
                    Research Institute (WRI), Environmental Defense Fund, American Coun-
                    cil for an Energy Efficient Economy, American Nuclear Society, and
                    many others, most of which have provided their perspectives in con-
                    gressional hearings over the past year or two.

                    The following provides a brief representation of the types of energy-
                    related strategies and options that have been offered by WA, WA, and
                    the World Resources Institute to address global warming. The examples
                    cited arc not intended to capture the full range of areas for change but
                    do provide a reflection of scope and complexity of some proposals and
                    their implications for national economies.

                    EPA has prepared its draft report, “Policy Options for Stabilizing Global
Policy Options      Climate.” The draft report prepared for the Congress addresses policy
Proposed by Draft   options that, if implemented, would stabilize current levels of atmos-
EPA Report          pheric greenhouse gas concentrations. It also addresses the need for, and
                    the implications of: significant changes to energy policy, including
                    energy efficiency and development of alternatives to fossil fuels; reduc-
                    tions in the use of WCS; ways to reduce other greenhouse gases; and the

                    Page 20                      GAO/RCED-YO-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
    Section 3
    Suggested Changes to Energy Policies and
    Programs to Address Global Warmlnft by
    Other Federal and Non-Federal Orga-&&ions
    and Individual Authorities

    potential for and effects of reducing deforestation and increasing

    The WA study team noted that any policy options must be evaluated in
    the context of expected economic and technological developments, and
    in the context of uncertain effects that greenhouse gas emissions will
    have on the rate and magnitude of climate changes. To address these
    considerations the EPA team established four goals for the study. These
    goals were to

l assemble data on global trends in emissions and concentrations of all
  major greenhouse gases and activities that affect these gases;
. develop an integrated analytical framework to study how different
  assumptions about the global economy and the climate system could
  influence future greenhouse gas concentrations and global temperature;
. identify promising technologies and practices that could limit green-
  house gas emissions; and
. identify policy options that could influence future greenhouse gas con-
  centrations and global warming.

    The draft report defines a wide range of policy choices that could be
    considered to stabilize climate change. Proper pricing of energy services,
    according to the draft, may be the most important. It is critical to
    encourage both increases and end-use efficiency and the development of
    energy sources that emit no CO,. Current market prices of fossil fuel do
    not reflect the risk of climate change and provide no incentive to con-
    sider the climate implications in purchase and investment decisions. A
    direct means of providing this incentive is a fee on fossil fuel in propor-
    tion to its relative impact on global warming. Regulatory programs could
    be used to complement the pricing strategies when they are ineffective,
    either because of market failures or inequitable impacts on some regions
    or income groups. The draft also stated that directing research and
    development priorities toward energy sources that produce no CO, is
    essential to assure the availability of attractive options over the long
    term. Other options include the selective use of government procure-
    ment to stimulate markets and promote technological alternatives as
    well as technical assistance and information programs.

    It further stated in regard to energy policy options that no single policy
    approach by itself is likely to be both effective and acceptable as a
    means of achieving substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
    from energy production and use. It noted that strategies for developing
    countries may be quite different from those appropriate for the IJnited

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                       Section 3
                       Suggested Changes to Energy Policies and
                       Programs to Address Global Warming by
                       Other Federal and Non-Federal Organizations
                       and Individual Authorities

                       States. However, it also stated that many complementary options exist
                       that offer differing relative advantages for reducing greenhouse gas

                           has also provided its views on federal government action to limit
OfLice of Technology   UrA
                       global climate change. On ,June 29, 1988, Dr. Peter Blair of WA'S Energy
Adsessment             and Materials Program provided his recommendations in testimony
                       before the House Subcommittee on Natural Resources, Agriculture
                       Research and the Environment and the Subcommittee on Science,
                       Research, and Technology. He supported CO, reduction strategies that
                       include reducing fossil fuel consumption through increasing end-use
                       energy efficiency and alternative energy use, and shifting from high CO,
                       emitting fuels like coal to those with relatively lower emissions like nat-
                       ural gas. To successfully carry out these strategies, OTA suggests using
                       research and development measures and efficiency regulations.

                       Research, development, and marketing support for any resulting tech-
                       nologies has also been recommended by Dr. Blair as a means to improve
                       the availability of alternative and energy-efficient technologies. Dr.
                       Blair stressed that the federal presence in research, development, and
                       demonstration is necessary to sustain conservation and renewable
                       energy technology development in the lJnited States since current low
                       oil prices have essentially halted privately financed work. Besides, Dr.
                       Hlair notes one cannot expect private industry to fund the development
                       of liquid fuel substitutes or new methods of generating electricity that
                       are in line with environmental or national security concerns. But the
                       government can encourage private industry participation in energy
                       research by portraying it as a means of improving U.S. competitiveness
                       in world markets.

                       Renewable and energy-efficiency combustion technologies may provide
                       new markets for private industry to focus on, as well as encourage
                       industry to rapidly turn over capital in order to maintain high produc-
                       tivity. Dr. Blair noted, for instance, the importance of reducing produc-
                       tion costs and improving performance of renewable technologies to
                       make them competitive with traditional energy sources. Dr. Blair also
                       referenced combustion technologies like integrated gasification com-
                       bined cycle generators, fluidized bed combustors, and compressed air
                       energy storage facilities that may offer the potential for widespread use
                       in electric power generating applications beyond the turn of the century.
                       Thus, according to Dr. Blair, commercial acceptance of these technolo-
                       gies hinges on their being successfully demonstrated. Also, he noted that,

                       Page 22                              GAO/RCED-90.74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
                  Section 3
                  Suggested Changes to Energy Policies and
                  Programs to Address Global Warmlng by
                  Other Federal and Non-Federal Organizations
                  and Individual Authorities

                      has found that demonstration programs are successful when a wide
                  range of private sector interests participates heavily and is assured of
                  technology proprietary rights and ownership. Cost-sharing between
                  industry and a federal government committed to funding demonstra-
                  tions is needed; such cost-shared demonstrations would prove the con-
                  ceptual designs for new technologies as well as demonstrate multiple
                  commercial applications for relatively mature technologies.

                  In addition to funding new technology research on electricity generation
                  and energy-efficiency, Dr. Blair stated that the OTA feels the U.S. govern-
                  ment should also help expand private sector commercialization opportu-
                  nities by helping firms market their products in the U.S. Additionally,
                  the federal government should help domestic companies establish access
                  to foreign markets for new generating technology since the domestic
                  market seems to be weak. Such efforts, which would be very important
                  to these technologies’ near-term viability, could include government loan
                  guarantees, assistance with joint-venture and licensing applications in
                  foreign countries, and aid in the formation of trading companies that
                  export renewable energy technology.

                  Dr. Blair also stated that the government should promote the adoption
                  of new technologies through regulations that set energy efficiency-
                  related performance standards and product labeling.

                  On *June29, 1988, Dr. Jessica Mathews, of WRIprovided her views on the
World Resources   issue of global climate change before the House Committee on Science,
Institute         Space, and Technology. She stated that the best government policy is a
                  policy of doing no harm, especially since we do not know the lag time
                  between the emission of greenhouse gases and the establishment of the
                  earth’s new equilibrium climate. She noted that select policy initiatives
                  can be matched to the level of certainty. She recommends increased pol-
                  icy research so that we know more about the possible options we have,
                  such as global carbon taxes and joint activities to improve efficiency.
                  She also believes the 1J.S.should reexamine its research and develop-
                  ment priorities, and emphasize long-term research, especially on non-
                  fossil alternatives. Beyond emphasizing policy and research, Dr.
                  Mathews specifically would like the U.S. to provide international leader-
                  ship on global climate issues, such as completing phasing-out WC’S and
                  limiting tropical deforestation. She also recommends promoting energy
                  efficiency by organizing a national energy plan built around the devel-
                  opment of highly efficient processes, appliances, and automobiles. Dr.
                  Mathews feels energy-efficiency improvements are the most attractive

                  Page 23                              GAO/RCED-YO-74BR DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
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                  Section 3
                  Suggested Changes to Energy Policies and
                  Programs to Address Global Warming by
                  Other Federal and Non-Federal Organizations
                  and Individual Authorities

                  and cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Such
                  national policies could, according to Dr. Mathews, promote switching to
                  less-carbon fuels, like renewables and the relatively clean-burning natu-
                  ral gas, which can be used with new, higher efficiency gas-fired and
                  steam-injected turbines,

                  Dr. Irving Mintzer, also of WRI, expanded on Dr. Mathews’ suggestions to
                  increase energy efficiency, switch to less carbon-intensive fuels, and
                  develop renewable technologies, Dr. Mintzer’s, September 22, 1988,
                  statement for the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, Committee
                  on Energy and Commerce, noted that policy choices made today and
                  implemented over the next several decades can substantially affect the
                  timing and extent of global warming.

                  Dr. Mintzer stated that the most important energy policy options for
                  reducing the rate of global warming include

              . increasing the efficiency of energy use through technical improvements
                and through changes in pricing policy to eliminate subsidies,
              l fuel-switching to less carbon-intensive fuels and the development of
                renewable technologies, and
              . reducing the use of the most dangerous CFCS.

                  In this regard, he noted that there are a wide range of cost effective
                  measures available today to reduce the United States’ contribution to
                  future global warming. He organized these measures into three

          l       getting the prices of energy and fuels right,
          l       reducing greenhouse gases at the sources, and
          l       offsetting future emissions to reduce their effect.

                  The specific measures cited by Dr. Mintzer included

          l introducing a tax on gasoline starting at 2 cents per gallon and incrcas-
            ing 2 cents per gallon per month for 4 years,
          . instituting a carbon tax on all fossil fuels made revenue-neutral through
            tax credits for investments in energy efficiency,
          l demonstrating in all federal buildings those energy efficiency measures
            certified cost-effective by the Secretary of Energy, and
          l demonstrating through joint public-private ventures some of the new
            high-efficiency electric supply technologies.

                  Page 24                             GAO/RCED-90-74BR DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
-.t .___.-.
                     Section 3
                     Suggested Changes to Energy Policies and
                     Programs to Address Global Warming by
                     Other Federal and Non-Federal Organizations
                     and Individual Authorities

                     Dr. Mintzer believes that implementing these and other specific mcas-
                     ures could postpone for as much as 60 years the global commitment to a
                     warming equal to the effect of doubling the pre-industrial concentra-
                     tions of CO, alone.

                     To provide some additional examples of the various suggestions being
                     offered, appendix II includes information offered by the EPRI, the World
                     Climate Program Workshop of 1987, the American Nuclear Society, the
                     National Academy of Engineering, the American Council for an Energy-
                     Efficient Economy, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Lawrence
                     Livermore National Laboratory on fusion energy.

                     Page 26                             GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
Appendix I

Descriptionsof DOE ProgramAreas Relevantto
the GlobalClimate-ChangeIssue

                            As noted in section II, of the 24 program areas identified by DOE as rele-
                            vant to the global climate-change issue, only 2 areas were considered
                            directly related to the issue. These areas included the Carbon Dioxide
                            Research Program of its Office of Energy Research, and several environ-
                            mental studies and special assessments being conducted by its Office of
                            Environment, Safety and Health. The majority of the program areas DoE
                            identified were judged to be indirectly relevant to the issue.

                            The following provides some description of the offices and program
                            areas DOE identified.

Direct Programs

Office of Energy Research   DOE'S Office of Energy Research supports and coordinates a wide range
                            of basic and applied research activities. The Carbon Dioxide Research
                            Program, within its Office of Health and Environmental Research,
                            directly contributes to the further understanding of the climate-change

Carbon Dioxide Research     The Carbon Dioxide Research Program, initiated in 1978, is directly
Program                     related to DOE'S global warming issue and has over the past 10 years
                            provided much of what the U.S. and international community currently
                            know about CO, and its relationship to global climate change. The pro-
                            gram’s objective is to develop the scientific knowledge base for policy
                            formulation and government action in response to changes in atmos-
                            pheric CO, and its primary effects on the earth’s climate and biological

                            According to the CO, program managers, achievement of this goal
                            requires increased understanding of CO, implications for the global
                            atmosphere, plant and animal life, oceans, and the ice and snow covered
                            portions of the earth. In this regard, research supported by the program
                            is directed toward reducing the scientific uncertainties about CO, and
                            producing estimates of CO,-induced climate change, According to the
                            Office of Energy Research, with a comprehensive understanding of car-
                            bon dioxide-induced changes, it should be in a position to help formulate
                            options and strategies by which we can modify or adapt to these poten-
                            tial atmospheric and earth systems changes, and analyze them with
                            regard to risk and cost benefit. As noted in section II of this report, the
                            work of the CO, Research Program has provided much of the basis for

                            Page 26                       GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
Appendix I
Descriptions of DOE Prugram Areas Relevant
to the Global CUmate-Chauge Issue

the department’s position on the global warming phenomenon and the
strategy that it believes should be pursued to address the issue.

Because of the diverse types of research needed to meet broad objec-
tives of the program, a wide range of institutions is involved in this
work. These institutions include the academic community, the DOE
national laboratories, private sector research organizations, and other
government agencies. The program has been organized into six work
areas including energy systems, climate systems, vegetation research,
resource analysis, scientific interface, and institutional and international
activities. The energy systems research area covers research in energy
technology, energy emissions, and the carbon cycle. The goal of this pro-
gram area is to forecast future concentrations of CO, in the atmosphere.
Its more specific objectives are to (1) reduce the uncertainties about the
various parts of the carbon cycle, (2) develop the capability to project
energy emissions of CO,, (3) identify technological developments that
could reduce CO, emissions, and (4) develop suitable models for project-
ing atmospheric concentrations of CO,.

The climate system program area focuses on the physical environment
to which man and the biosphere respond. The primary objective of this
work is to develop and improve the capabilities to estimate the range of
global and regional climate change resulting from increasing CO,. Its sec-
ond objective is to detect evidence of climate system response to past
and continuing increase of CO,, and its third objective is to provide
information for resource analysis.

The focus of the vegetation systems research area is to provide informa-
tion about the effects of CO, on climate vegetation systems. An impor-
tant requirement of work in this area is to acquire new experimental
data and to develop and validate models for improving predictions from
altered CO, and climate conditions. Once developed and tested, models
would be applied to different types of vegetation (e.g., forests, range
lands) and at larger geographic scales.

The resource analysis program area focuses on the potential impacts of
CO, and climate change on important resources including agriculture,
forests, fisheries, and water resources. The primary objectives in this
area are to provide integrated quantitative analysis of the effects of
CO,-induced climate change on key resources in order to develop useful
responses to possible problems in this area, as well as to develop mecha-
nisms to take advantage of benefits of COP-inducedchange.

Page 27                            GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
 -_-.--.j-.- .__-I__
                              Appendix I
                              Descriptions of DOE Program Areas Relevant
                              to the Global Climate-Change Issue

                              The scientific interface area relates to efforts to communicate research
                              results, and generate review and quality control analyses of work. This
                              includes reporting, conferences, and access to data on research results.
                              The institutional and international program area is focused on the need
                              for institutional and international coordination and cooperation on the
                              collective findings of the world research community.

_. --.-.(-   -

Offiice of Environment,       The Office of Environment, Safety and Health (ES&H) has objectives of
Safiety and Health            assuring that DOE policies and programs conform to all applicable envi-
                              ronmental laws and regulations and incorporate national environmental
                              protection goals into their plans. ES&H fulfills this objective by providing
                              analyses and developing options regarding significant national environ-
                              mental and energy issues.

                              ES&H'S Office of Environmental Analysis analyzes policy options for
                              multi-national energy and environmental concerns such as global climate
                              change and stratospheric ozone protection, in addition to domestic issues
                              like national supply, demand, and prices of energy.

                              Current activities identified as directly related to the global warming
                              issue are four congressionally mandated studies that are addressing sev-
                              eral key aspects of the issue. These include

                          . an assessment of research and development of alternative energy
                            sources; and development of appropriate research and development
                            strategies, including additional federal investment to encourage greater
                            private investment in these alternative energy sources;
                          l an inventory and policy study to identify the sources of CO, in the U.S.
                            and policy options that would lead to designated reductions in US. CO,
                          . a study of data on greenhouse gases that will identify sources and
                            trends of emissions and impacts on climate change and that will also
                            identify federal data sources and the use and coordination of data; and
                          . a study of policy options to mobilize the private sector’s cooperation in
                            mitigating, adapting, and preventing global climate change.

                              In February 1989 the Office of Environmental Analysis prepared the
                              Project Plan for Congressionally Mandated Studies on Energy and Cli-
                              mate Change Policy Issues (Project Plan) that set out the objectives,
                              approaches, and timetables for these studies.

                              Page 28                            GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
-j-----                       Appendix I
                              Descriptions of DOE Program Areas Relevant
                              to the Global Climnte-Change Issue

                              Of the 24 program areas identified by DOE as related to the global warm-
Ihdirect Programs             ing issue, 22 areas were considered indirectly related. These 22 program
                              areas are administered by 5 DOE offices.

dffice of Conservation and    The Office of Conservation and Renewable Energy conducts a range of
denewable Energy              programs that form a major part of DOE efforts considered to be indi-
                              rectly relevant to the global climate-change issue. The primary purpose
Programs                      of this office is to help develop, assist, and encourage the application of
                              technologies that enhance the efficiency of energy use and provide flexi-
                              bility in the choice of energy alternatives as well as to develop renewa-
                              ble energy sources.

                              According to the Assistant Secretary for Conservation and Renewable
                              Energy, the advancement of energy efficiency technologies, conserva-
                              tion measures, and renewable technologies can have a significant impact
                              on the demand for fossil fuels and can reduce CO, and other greenhouse
                              gas emissions. When discussing the conservation and renewable pro-
                              grams of DOE before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, on
                              September 22, 1988, the Under Secretary noted that conservation pro-
                              grams that aim to develop new technologies for using energy more effi-
                              ciently affect all end-use energy sectors and that improvements in end-
                              use efficiencies could reduce the growth in future energy demand as
                              much as 16 quads’ annually by the year 2010. In this regard, such
                              improvements can help slow the rate of growth in the use of fossil fuels
                              and provide the time needed to develop and commercialize alternative
                              energy supply options, She also noted that DOE is pursuing precisely this
                              course of action.

Incentivesto Improve Energy   According to WE, its work in the conservation and renewables area is to
Efficiency                    improve the efficiency and fuel flexibility of energy use in buildings,
                              transportation, and industry. Its programs are to work in partnership
                              with the private sector in order to advance new technologies to the point
                              at which commercial development can proceed without further federal
                              assistance. The Assistant Secretary for Conservation and Renewable
                              Energy noted that many of their programs involve cost sharing, which is
                              viewed as a major incentive to encourage participation of both the pub-
                              lic and private sectors. As part of their programs and individual
                              projects, numerous conferences, periodic workshops, and meetings with
                              public and private sector representatives are held to discuss emerging
                              technologies and ideas for energy efficiency improvements.

                              ‘A quad is a quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), the energy equivalent of more than $6 billion.

                              Page 29                                  GAO/RCED-90.74BR       DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
                             Appendix I
                             DescrIptiona of DOE Program Areas Relevant
                             to the Global Climate-Change Issue

Office of Conservation       The Office of Conservation has a broad range of responsibilities focused
                             on basic and applied research, and assistance programs designed, in
                             part, to

                         . contribute to the development and application of technologies to
                           improve energy efficiency, productivity, and environmental quality;
                         l provide engineering and scientific knowledge to the academic and pri-
                           vate sectors, and stimulate technology transfer;
                         l encourage private sector participation in areas of energy research with
                           substantial risk and unpredictable economic outcomes; and
                         l help to establish or maintain the U.S. leadership in key energy technol-
                           ogy and its competitiveness in international commerce.

                             The Office of Conservation addresses these areas through its individual
                             program offices including its Offices of Energy Utilization Research,
                             Buildings and Community Systems, Industrial Programs, Transportation
                             Systems, and Federal Energy Management Program.

                             The Office of Energy Utilization Research supports long-term research
                             and development to advance energy end-use technologies. It does this
                             through its Energy Conversion and Utilization Program and its Inven-
                             tions and Innovations Program. The objectives of the Energy Conversion
                             and IJtilization Program are to increase the U.S. energy supply by devel-
                             oping alternative end-use energy technologies as well as by developing
                             more efficient methods of energy use.

                             The Office of Buildings and Community Systems supports technologies
                             that are transferable to the building design, construction, retrofit, and
                             energy management industries in order to increase building energy effi-
                             ciency. This office also promotes the development of energy efficiency
                             standards and test procedures for major household appliances.

                             The Office of Industrial Program’s objective is to improve the energy
                             efficiency of industrial production by developing technologies that use
                             alternative fuels. As the Office of Conservation believes U.S. industry is
                             generally less energy-efficient than its foreign counterparts, it hopes
                             that by the year 2010 the US. will reduce its industrial energy consump-
                             tion by 13 percent through the development of new technologies.

                             The Office of Transportation System’s objectives are to control or elimi-
                             nate CFC losses from automobile air conditioners, to develop advanced
                             engine technologies that could improve fuel efficiency by 30 percent,
                             and to promote alternate transportation fuel use. These activities are

                             Page 30                            GAO/RCED-90.74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
                      Appendix I
                      Descrlptlons of DOE program Areas Relevant
                      to the Global Climate-Change Issue

                      carried out through two research areas-Heat Engine Propulsion and
                      Electric and Hybrid Propulsion. The Heat Engine Propulsion projects
                      have two main goals. First, the projects aim to solve problems related to
                      use of non-petroleum fuels so that synthetic fuels derived from oil shale
                      and coal-and to a lesser extent from biomass and natural gas
                      sources-can be utilized in motor vehicles. The projects also aim to
                      develop advanced automotive engines. A promising program area is the
                      development of ceramic components to replace certain metal ones cur-
                      rently found in engines. Conservative estimates state that ceramic com-
                      ponents use could result in at least a 20-percent increase in fuel
                      efficiency. Electric and Hybrid Propulsion projects support research and
                      development to improve the range, reliability, cost, and performance of
                      electric and hybrid vehicles.

                      The Federal Energy Management Program guides federal establishments
                      in their management of energy. Its primary goals focus on improving
                      efficiency and flexibility in energy use. Its ultimate aim is to reduce the
                      energy used by the single largest energy consumer in the U.S., the fed-
                      eral government.

Office of Renewable   The Office of Renewable Energy is responsible for planning, research
Energy                and development, demonstration and evaluation of all forms of renewa-
                      ble energy. This includes pursuing long-term high risk research and
                      development, and transferring renewable technologies to the public and
                      private producers and consumers of energy.

                      Wind, solar energy, hydro, geothermal, biomass2 and ocean resources
                      are the basis for these technologies and, according to the Office, repre-
                      sent a vast source of potential energy. These technologies also offer via-
                      ble, low environmental impact options for the US. and world
                      community. According to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable
                      Energy, all renewable technology options result in the reduction of
                      greenhouse gas emissions and therefore have a direct positive effect on
                      global warming, while representing the most environmentally benign of
                      all energy supply options.

                      Today renewable energy technologies provide about 9 percent of the
                      U.S. domestic energy production and are now estimated to reach about
                      13 to 16 percent by the year 2010. According to the Office of Renewable
                      Energy, expanding the use of these technologies beyond their current

                      “Hiomass is dry organic matter, ix., plant mat,erials and animal waste, used as a source of fuel.

                      Page 31                                   GAO/RCED-90-74BR       DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
Appendix I
Descriptions of DOE Program Areas Relevant
to the Global Climate-Change Issue

applications and markets depends on research. The Office of Renewable
Energy believes the preferred approach to achieving the potential for
renewable energy technologies is through a realistic, far-sighted effort
to improve the technology base via research in critical areas of system
cost reduction, improved performance, and extended operating lives. By
conducting such research now, renewable technologies will be better
positioned to widely contribute to future energy and environmental

The renewable energy technologies are pursued by several program
offices including the Office of Renewable Energy Technologies, the
Office of Solar Heat Technologies, the Office of Solar Electric Technolo-
gies, and the Office of Energy Storage and Distribution. The following
provides brief descriptions of the projects and activities of these offices.

The Office of Renewable Energy Technologies emphasizes both the
development of biomass and other energy production and conversion
technologies, and the expanded utilization of various geothermal
resources. This work is conducted through the Office of Biofuels and
Municipal Waste Technology and the Office of Geothermal Technology.

The Office of Biofuels and Municipal Waste Technology focuses its
research predominantly on the raw materials used in the formation of
liquid and gaseous fuels from biomass sources. Its projects are designed
to increase the productivity, lower the cultivation costs, and improve
the conversion characteristics of aquatic and terrestrial energy plants.
These projects aim to increase utilization of biomass resources, which
are the only renewable ones capable of directly producing gasoline, die-
sel, and natural gas fuels. Biomass now supplies 3 quads of energy in the
U.S.: 2.8 of this total is provided by wood combustion; the remainder
comes from municipal solid waste utilization.

The Office of Geothermal Technology would expand the use of geother-
mal energy beyond that of the high-temperature hydrothermal steam
fields that currently produce competitively priced electricity. The office
aims to produce electricity from liquid-dominated, moderate-tempera-
ture resources, as well as from hot dry rock and molten material.

The Office of Solar Heat Technologies aims to develop commercially-
competitive solar alternatives for the heating, cooling, and lighting of
buildings. Its goal is to make environmentally benign solar thermal tech-
nologies commercially competitive by the late 1990s. Working to achieve

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Appendix I
Descriptions of DOE Program Areas Relevant
to the Global Climate-Change Issue

these goals are the Offices of Solar Building Technologies and Solar
Thermal Technologies.

Specifically, the Office of Solar Buildings Technologies conducts
research to develop advanced materials and systems appropriate for
collecting, storing, managing, and distributing solar energy in new and
existing buildings. According to the Office of Renewable Energy, these
developments could, in the future, supply up to 80 percent of building
space heating and hot water requirements, 60 percent of residential
cooling requirements, and up to 60 percent of nonresidential heating,
cooling, and daylighting energy requirements at competitive costs. The
purpose of the Solar Thermal Program is to improve solar thermal-sys-
tems performance and provide cost-effective energy options by the late
1990s that are strategically secure and environmentally benign.

The Office of Solar Electric Technologies pursues the development of
wind energy and photovoltaic systems that will generate electricity and
make it commercially applicable all over the U.S. It is also pursuing the
development of ocean thermal energy conversion to a point at which its
commercial potential as a power supply option can be assessed. This
work is undertaken by its Office of Wind and Ocean Technologies, and
the Office of Photovoltaic Technology.

The Office of Wind and Ocean Technologies emphasizes research to
improve airfoils, blade materials, turbine/components and standardized
designs. According to the Office of Renewable Energy, lighter turbine
components that can withstand the stress caused by gravity, centrifugal
forces, and wind turbulence, and that have an acceptable life cycle make
the wind energy option competitive with fossil fuel combustion. Accord-
ing to this Office, advances in wind energy technology have reduced
generation costs from 10 to 15 cents/kWh in the early 1980s to today’s 7
to 8 cents/kWh. One reason for increasing wind utilization is that this
energy option does not produce any greenhouse gas emissions and has,
through its generation of 3.9 billion kWh of electricity in the past 8
years, resulted in 3 million tons less of CO,-emissions than coal would
have produced. The Office of Wind and Ocean Technologies also pursues
ocean thermal technology, which takes advantage of the temperature
differences between ocean surface and deep cold water from which
energy can be extracted to generate electricity.

The Office of Photovoltaic Technology aims to further assist in the
development of photovoltaic technology for large-scale generation of
economically competitive electric power so that photovoltaic energy

Page 33                            GAO/RCED-90.74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
                            Appendix I
                            Descriptiona of DOE Program Areas Relevant
                            to the Global Climate-Change Issue

                            products can be a significant partner in the mix of energy sources. This
                            office seeks to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic systems by 15 to
                            25 percent, reduce production costs by 80 percent, and increase system
                            lifetimes to 30 years.

                            The Office of Energy Storage and Distribution focuses on research pro-
                            grams in energy storage control and delivery. This office promotes
                            research and development designed to reduce energy transmission and
                            distribution losses in order to improve the efficiency of these delivery
                            processes. Some of the Office of Energy Storage and Distribution’s more
                            important programs include development of advanced battery, thermal
                            energy storage, and superconductivity electrical distribution systems.

OfTice of State and Local   The Office of State and Local Assistance Programs within DOE'S Office of
Programs                    Conservation and Renewable Energy aims to increase non-federal partic-
                            ipation in energy projects and oversee programs funded by grants and
                            oil overcharge payments through a number of activities. These activities
                            are carried out through the Office’s State Energy Conservation, Energy
                            Extension Service, Institutional Conservation, and Weatherization Assis-
                            tance Programs.

                            The State Energy Conservation Program’s objective is to promote energy
                            efficiency and reduce energy-demand growth in states. DOE provides
                            grants and technical assistance to states for the development and imple-
                            mentation of approved comprehensive conservation plans; additionally,
                            oil overcharge funds may be used to supplement State Energy Conserva-
                            tion programs.

                            The Energy Extension Service is a federal/state partnership established
                            by the National Energy Extension Service Act of 1977 to provide small-
                            scale energy users such as small businesses and individual homeowners
                            with energy education and technical assistance that would facilitate
                            energy efficiency, energy conservation, and the use of renewable
                            resources. This state-facilitated program targets individual energy con-
                            sumers and small businesses, who, unlike large industries that have an
                            economic incentive to increase energy efficiency, are hampered by time
                            and cost constraints in implementing the most effective energy-efficient

                            The Institutional Conservation Program aims to facilitate the implemen-
                            tation of energy conservation measures in the institutional sector by

                            Page 34                            GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
                            Append& I
                            Descrlptiom of DOE Program Areas Relevant
                            to the Global Climate-Change Issue

.-- __.._.
       - ._._
                            funding matching, cost-shared grants for detailed building energy analy-
                            ses and energy-saving capital improvements in nonprofit schools and
                            hospitals. This program helps to solve the three most important institu-
                            tional energy needs-financing, expertise, and information.

                            The Weatherization Assistance Program seeks to reduce the heating and
                            cooling costs for those with low incomes, as well as the elderly, and
                            handicapped. The program does this by providing grants to states and
                            others to install weatherization materials in the homes of eligible recipi-
                            ents. In addition, it helps state and local program managers develop and
                            implement those cost-effective weatherization measures, such as caulk-
                            ing and weatherstripping, storm windows, attic insulation, and heating
                            system improvements, that are based on priorities established through
                            energy audits.

Office of Fossil Energy     The Office of Fossil Energy has the broad objectives of increasing the
                            efficiency of coal utilization and conversion, improving coal treatment
                            processes that remove impurities, developing alternate fuels, and
                            improving extraction techniques for natural gas, a relatively environ-
                            mentally benign fossil fuel. This work is pursued by the Office of Coal
                            Technology and the Office of Oil, Gas, Shale, and Special Technologies.

Office of Coal Technology   The Office of Coal Technology is pursuing the improved performance of
                            coal by conducting advanced technology development for each of the
                            major steps of the coal-use cycle: coal preparation, utilization, conver-
                            sion, cleanup, and waste management. It has a primary mission to
                            develop and demonstrate a slate of technologies that will extend the use
                            of coal in power plants, factories, commercial businesses, residential
                            complexes and transportation markets. These innovative technologies
                            are designed to allow coal to be used cheaply, cleanly, and conveniently.

                            In this regard, the office is responsible for several programs, including
                            the management of cooperative agreements with industry to foster clean
                            coal technology; research and development programs for coal combus-
                            tion and conversion embodying retrofit or near- or mid-term applica-
                            tions such as fluidized-bed combustion and surface coal gasification. It is
                            also responsible for the environmental, health, and safety technology
                            activities integral to such coal combustion and conversion systems.
                            These programs and activities are accomplished by its Office of Coal
                            Research and Development and its Office of Clean Coal.

                            Page 35                            GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
                               Appendix I
                               Deecriptione of DOE Program Areas Relevant
                               to the Global Climate-Change Issue

                               The Coal R&D Program’s goal is to strengthen the scientific and engi-
                               neering technology base with which industry can develop new coal utili-
                               zation products and processes. This program supports substantial
                               activities in control technology, coal preparation, and combustion

                               Within the Office of Clean Coal is administered the Clean Coal Technol-
                               ogy Demonstration Program. In this program, DOE, in conjunction with
                               private industry, is trying to demonstrate the commercial feasibility and
                               environmental acceptability of technologies developed by the Office of
                               Coal Technology’s Coal Research and Development area. These demon-
                               strations can result in the more efficient deployment of technologies
                               that would reduce NO, emissions associated with fossil fuel combustion.
                               This work is carried out through clean coal technology and innovative
                               clean coal technology demonstrations.

Office of Oil, Gas,Shale,and   This office conducts programs on special technologies, including such
SpecialTechnologies            advanced coal-based technologies as programs on magnetohydrodynam-
                               its electric power generation and fuel cell systems. It is also responsible
                               for the research addressing selected technologies for efficient and eco-
                               nomical production of gas from unconventional sources.

                               The Magnetohydrodynamics Program pursues the development of com-
                               mercially viable power generation systems which accelerate hot coal
                               gases through an intense magnetic field to generate electricity. The Fuel
                               Cells System Program supports the high-risk, high-payoff technological
                               development of cost-effective, environmentally acceptable fuel cell sys-
                               tems which directly convert the hydrogen-rich gas derived from coal
                               and dual (gas and coal) fuels into electricity. The Unconventional Gas
                               Recovery Program’s goal is to develop, with industry, environmentally
                               acceptable advanced technologies for recovering gas from large, but cur-
                               rently uneconomical resources by the year 2000.

Office of Nuclear Energy       The Office of Nuclear Energy supports the National Energy Policy Plan
                               of revitalizing nuclear energy through several programs, including its
                               advanced Fission Reactor Development, Low-Level Nuclear Waste, and
                               Uranium Enrichment programs. These programs would thus encourage
                               increased nuclear energy utilization. According to DOE, nuclear energy is
                               an important part of the U.S. energy mix, since it currently provides
                               nearly 20 percent of U.S. electricity without directly generating CO,. DOE
                               estimates that about 200 million fewer tons of carbon are currently
                               emitted annually due to use of nuclear-generated electricity.

                               Page 36                            GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
                            Appendix I
                            Descriptions of DOE Program Areas Relevant
                            to the Global Climate-Change Issue

                            Through the Advanced Fission Reactor Development Program DOE is
                            focusing its efforts, along with industry’s, on developing simplified reac-
                            tor designs, passive safety features, certified standard designs by
                            Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and on preparing them for commercial-
                            ization and/or demonstration in the 1990s. The designs being developed
                            are for advanced light-water reactors, liquid-metal reactors, and modu-
                            lar high-temperature gas-cooled reactors,

Office of International     The Office of International Affairs and Energy Emergencies is responsi-
Affairs and Energy          ble for developing and directing international energy policy, including
                            the international component of overall energy policy, and for coordinat-
En)ergencies                ing the department’s energy emergency preparedness planning and
                            emergency operations (except nuclear incidents/accidents). Activities
                            considered related to the global climate-change issue are conducted by
                            its Office of International Affairs.

                            The Office of International Affairs aims to develop a departmental
                            international strategy that would deal with mitigation and adjustment
                            policies. As global climate-change is an international issue requiring
                            international communication and coordination, this office is actively
                            involved in both bilateral and multilateral projects, and in special

Office of Energy Research   The Office of Energy Research is also the organizational component in
                            which the department’s fusion research is managed through its Office of
                            Fusion Energy. This program area is considered by DOE to be indirectly
                            related to the climate-change issue. The goal of the Magnetic Fusion Pro-
                            gram is to establish the scientific and technological base required for
                            fusion energy. According to the Office of Fusion Energy, if successfully
                            developed, fusion could provide the energy needed by the growing world
                            population with minimal safety and environmental risks. This program
                            is part of a coordinated world-fusion effort carried out under agree-
                            ments with the European Community, Japan, and the Soviet Union.

                            In addition to the above major program offices is DOE'S Office of Policy,
                            Planning and Analysis. This office serves as a principal advisor to the
                            Secretary of DOE on energy policy and carries out evaluations of WE pro-
                            grams to assess their conformance with policy objectives. It also con-
                            ducts various other specialized studies and assessment exercises and
                            works with program offices on a number of projects, Such efforts

                            Page 37                            GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
Appendix I
Descriptions of DOE Program Areas Relevant
to the Global Climate-Change Issue

include a special least-cost utility study and a natural gas study. Accord-
ing to DOE, the least-cost utility study will develop new estimates of
what can be achieved from demand-side management programs in pub-
lic utilities, and will provide a framework for demahd-side programs to
reduce greenhouse gases. The natural gas initiative is to assess gas
resource potential, demand potential, and various other gas markets and
technologies. The primary purpose of this study is to identify impedi-
ments to and opportunities for displacing oil with gas in U.S. markets.
The Office is also responsible for developing policy-related material for
the Department on such issues as automobile fuel efficiency standards
which the Secretary provides to the Department of Transportation
when considering changes to these standards.

As previously noted, the Office of Policy, Planning and Analysis was
also responsible for developing the Inventory of DOE Climate Change
Programs, and arranged for DOE'S Global Warming Round Table Confer-
ence. Most recently the Secretary announced that this office would be
the department’s focal point on the global climate-change issue, and that
the head of the office would now be a Deputy Under Secretary position,

Page 38                            GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
Appendix II

Additional Information on SuggestedEnergy
Policy and ProgramChangesto Address
                     On November 15-16,1988, Ian M. Torrens of EPRI provided his views on
El/ectric Power      the global climate-change issue before the Conference on Global Climate
Rgsearch Institute   Linkages: Acid Rain, Air Quality and Stratospheric Ozone. With regard
                     to the calls for policymakers to react in some way to the issue, including
                     the need to do more than continued research, Torrens pointed out that

                     “challenge will be to achieve the correct balance between two broad policy thrusts:
                     on the one side R&D which is clearly needed on both the complexities of the phe-
                     nomena and the mitigation techniques; and on the other side an appropriate mix of
                     the less costly and more effective actions to improve energy efficiency, and reduce
                     emissions of the series of greenhouse and acid gases, which are not being taken at
                     present for economic or institutional reasons. The answer is certainly not one or the
                     other and finding out where to strike the appropriate balance will not be easy, in
                     view of the scientific uncertainties.”

                     To reduce CO, emissions from power generation, Torrens offered the fol-
                     lowing measures: (1) increasing the efficiency of primary generation
                     with improved electronic and environmental control, heat recovery, and
                     energy conversion systems; (2) implementing energy conservation
                     schemes and improved end-use energy efficiency technologies; (3) shift-
                     ing to high-hydrogen content, low CO,- emitting fuels and non-fossil
                     energy sources; and (4) removing CO, from power plant effluents with
                     end-of-stack acid gas removal techniques.

                     To increase the generating efficiency of utilities, Torrens advocated the
                     greater use of combined-cycle methods fueled with natural gas or gasi-
                     fied coal which produce electricity at about 45 percent and 38 percent
                     efficiencies-as compared to 30 to 34 percent for conventional fossil
                     fuel boiler systems-and. which provide the additional environmental
                     benefit of reduced sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides. Torrens also advo-
                     cated the use of clean coal technologies that improve the effectiveness
                     of pollutant control, and of cogeneration technologies, which utilize
                     waste heat.

                     To increase electricity end-use efficiency, Torrens recommended the
                     development and application of energy-efficient electrical machinery in
                     industry, improved electronic controls in heating and air conditioning
                     use, and improved lighting efficiency. Torrens also believed utility
                     demand-side planning and consumer conservation could help limit
                     energy usage and its resultant greenhouse gas emissions.

                     Ian Torrens has also advocated shifting to non-fossil and hydrogen-rich
                     fossil fuels emitting less CO, per unit of energy generated. A shift to

                     Page 39                           GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming

                             A p p e n d i xII
                             A d d i ti o n a lIu fo rm a ti o n o n S u g g e s te Ed n e rg y
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                             te ri e sw e reg e n e ra teb dy c o a l -fi re pdo w e pr l a n ts .

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                             P a g e4 0                                            G A O /R C E D - B O - 7 4 BDRO E ’sP r o g ra m so n G l o b a W
                                                                                                                                                   l a rm i n g
                           Appendix II
                           Additional Information on Suggested Energy
                           Policy and Program Changes to Address
                           Global Wanuiug

                           applied in a number of the economy’s sectors. Because hydrogen is stor-
                           able and a very efficient energy carrier, it can be transmitted efficiently
                           underground through pipelines to provide heating and cooling for indus-
                           try, buildings, and homes. According to Dr. Veziroglu, hydrogen with its
                           high flame speed and wide flammability limits, can additionally fuel
                           internal combustion engines, gas turbines, and jet engines. Perhaps most
                           importantly, hydrogen’s high ignition temperature and low flame lumi-
                           nosity make it a safer and 15 to 20 percent more efficient fuel in con-
                           verting chemical to mechanical energy. A barrier to hydrogen’s
                           increased application is its cost, relative to that of fossil fuels. After
                           accounting for both hydrogen’s 26 percent greater efficiency on a
                           weighted average basis and its transportation and distribution costs, the
                           liquid hydrogen, having an energy yield equivalent to one gallon of gaso-
                           line, costs $1.94 per gallon as compared to $1 .OOper gallon of gasoline.
                           However, as Dr. Veziroglu pointed out, liquid hydrogen becomes cheaper
                           than gasoline if the price of gasoline is raised by $1 .OOper gallon in
                           order to account for the environmental damage that results from its use.

                           The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is a nonprofit
American Council for       organization dedicated to the advancement of energy-conserving tech-
an Energy-Efficient        nologies and programs. In 1988, it published “Energy Efficiency: A New
Economy                    Agenda.” Policy proposals and comments for this publication were con-
                           tributed by many representatives from various organizations including
                           the International Institute for Energy Conservation, the Advanced
                           Study Program of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and
                           the World Resources Institute.

                           The Council’s report stressed the superiority of energy efficiency over
                           other energy options, explaining that it reduces the risk of future global
                           climate change, strengthens U.S. energy security by diminishing oil
                           imports, and enhances the competitiveness of U.S. industry by reducing
                           its production costs. The report proposed technically feasible policies
                           that it hoped the President would implement to create an energy-effi-
                           cient economy, with the ultimate goal of a reduction in US. energy
                           intensity (the rate of energy used per dollar of economic output) by at
                           least 2.5 percent per year into the 21st century. The following measures
                           are among the suggestions offered to achieve these reductions

                       . apply energy-efficiency measures to protect the national and global
                       l double car and light-truck fuel economy to cut oil imports,
                       . enhance industrial competitiveness with energy-efficiency research,

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. make buildings more efficient to improve their affordability, and
. help developing nations acquire skills and technology for energy

  According to the report, the U.S. can advance energy-efficiency meas-
  ures to reduce the risk of climatic change. On the international level, the
  US. can promote global energy efficiency through technical exchanges
  and through a protocol to reduce the energy intensity of the global econ-
  omy. Domestically, it advocated the coordination of state and federal
  energy and environmental planning. It also encouraged the development
  of technologies which could reduce or eliminate CFC use and increase
  efficiency in energy-related applications. It stated that DOE and EPA
  should undertake an urgent research, development, and demonstration
  program to support promising, albeit financially risky, technologies that
  the private sector will not support on its own.

  To double car and light-truck fuel economy, the report proposed the
  implementation of both regulations and taxes, First, the report sug-
  gested that, by the year 2000, car and light-truck fuel economy stan-
  dards be raised to 45 and 35 miles per gallon, respectively. It also
  proposed raising gasoline and diesel fuel taxes by 10 cents per gallon per
  year for at least 3 consecutive years, to a maximum tax of 30 to 50 cents
  per gallon, depending on world oil prices. Such a tax would require fuel
  consumers to pay the environmental and national security costs of
  importing and using oil. To solve the political problem of implementing a
  tax adversely affecting low income people who spend a disproportionate
  fraction of their income on gasoline, the report suggests rebating a por-
  tion of the tax. It also proposed the establishment of a “gas-guzzler” tax
  for inefficient cars and trucks and a $1,000 per car “gas-sipper” rebate
  paid from the guzzler tax revenues to purchases of low-polluting vehi-
  cles that meet a fuel economy level which is, for example, 50 percent
  higher than that of today’s most efficient models. This tax rebate pro-
  gram would discourage the production of very inefficient cars and
  trucks and encourage the production of highly efficient vehicles. The
  fuels tax and fuel economy standards only discourage such production

  To enhance US. industrial competitiveness, the report strongly sup-
  ported increased, long-term federal commitment to the development and
  demonstration of new energy-efficient technologies. Such federal work,
  which could reduce American manufacturers’ $100 billion-plus annual
  energy bill, is necessary since U.S. companies significantly underinvest
  in research, due to uncertainties and delays in its payback.

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systems, must be greatly intensified. In regard to achieving CO, reduc-
tions in spite of continued population growth and economic expansion,
the Villach and Bellagio workshops concluded that governments should
give the following long-term objectives high priority: (1) increasing
energy operation and transmission efficiencies and reducing energy
demand and increasing the application of available technologies; (2)
replacing fossil fuel combustion with electricity generated from alterna-
tive energy such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, nuclear, and ocean ther-
mal which possibly could be stored and transported by using hydrogen
gas as a carrier; (3) reviewing reforestation and encouraging reforesta-
tion, which can provide a system for reducing atmospheric increases in
CO, and the other trace gases; (4) shifting fossil fuel use from high CO,
emitting fuels like coal, to low ones such as natural gas; and (5) dispos-
ing of CO,captured from power plant flue gas in the deep ocean; like
current pollution control requirements in several countries, such dis-
posal would double the cost of producing electricity for 90 percent CO,

The workshop’s report also noted that measures should be undertaken
to limit emissions of non-CO, greenhouse gases and to avoid industrial
and societal actions that contribute to their atmospheric concentrations.
To reduce methane emissions, the workshop recommended: the further
development of technologies to utilize methane from solid waste land-
fills for energy production; the attention of agricultural practices that
produce methane; and the control of NO, and hydrocarbon emissions
from fossil fuel combustion, which are linked to ozone and methane pro-
duction. For the limitation of NO, emissions, combustion controls and
modification of the type and method of fertilizer application were rec-
ommended. With regard to the reduction and eventual elimination of CFC
emissions, the workshops also supported efforts to protect the ozone

In addition to greenhouse-gas reduction measures, climate change adap-
tion measures were also advanced. The adaption measures include
changes in agricultural practices at the farm level, like the greater use of
the thermal and moisture stress-resistant plant varieties and invest-
ments to promote water-use efficiency. Measures to adapt agricultural
and other practices to sea-level rises accompanying the probable global
warming were also stressed by the workshop’s climate experts.
Increased attention should be paid to the monitoring of worldwide sea-
level changes so that areas vulnerable to sea-level rise can be identified,
and river, estuarine, and coastal zone policies like coastal installation
and land-use planning, can be implemented.

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                        Edward M. Davis, President of the American Nuclear Energy Council
A$nerican Nuclear       testified on August 11, 1988, before the Senate Committee on Energy
Eriergy Council         and Natural Resources on the importance of nuclear energy in any
                        national energy policy that takes into account climate modification con-
                        cerns. Mr. Davis believes nuclear energy, which generates no CO,, can
                        help limit global warming by meeting the nation’s demand for electric-
                        ity, which has grown an average of 3.3 percent a year since 1982. But,
                        in order to increase nuclear’s future utilization, Davis recommends gov-
                        ernmental action to reduce its costs and improve its safety. To reduce
                        the costs of licensing plants, Davis feels the Congress should enact legis-
                        lation providing for standardized, pre-approved plant designs and estab-
                        lishing a one-step plant licensing process. To improve nuclear’s safety
                        record, Davis wants to implement the National Waste Policy Act of 1982,
                        a law that would apply available technologies in nuclear waste disposal.
                        He also supports DOE funding of advanced reactor technologies like
                        advanced light-water, liquid-metal, and high-temperature, gas-cooled
                        reactors that incorporate passive safety features into their designs.

                        Another non-governmental expert, Robert M. White, President of the
National Academy of     National Academy of Engineering, testified on February 21, 1989, before
Engineering             the Subcommittee on Energy and Power of the Committee on Energy
                        and Commerce on the federal government’s role in averting climate
                        change. IIe urged the government to take prudent actions that would
                        weigh the consequences of global warming against the uncertainty of
                        our knowledge about atmosphere and greenhouse gases. Such govern-
                        ment action suggested by Dr. White included both research and emis-
                        sions-reduction measures. Government measures to reduce greenhouse-
                        gas emissions such as increasing the efficiency of fossil-fuel use, switch-
                        ing to non-fossil and low CO, emitting fossil energy sources, and limiting
                        CFC use and tropical deforestation were advocated by Dr. White.

                        Dr. T. Nejat Veziroglu, Director of the Clean Energy Research Institute
Clean Energy            at the IJniversity of Miami, has promoted the use of hydrogen to replace
Institute, University   fossil fuels. He testified before the Subcommittee on Natural Resources,
of Miami                Agriculture Research and Environment and the Subcommittee on Sci-
                        ence, Research and Technology on June 29, 1988, and reported that in
                        an era of increasing concerns about climate modification, the hydrogen
                        option is attractive; hydrogen can be produced from water, an inex-
                        haustible resource, at a cost that is low compared to that of other syn-
                        thetic fuels. Hydrogen also is the least polluting of all the synthetic fuels
                        since it does not produce CO,. Hydrogen’s properties enables it to be

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The Council’s report stated that the funding for DOE conservation
research and development, which has been slashed by more than 50 per-
cent, should be raised since in the past it developed and established the
market viability of projects that will yield billions of dollars in energy
savings. For instance, both electronic ballasts for fluorescent lamps,
which cut electricity use by about 25 percent, and low-emissivity win-
dows, which account for more than half of the largest U.S. window
maker’s sales, were supported by the DOE program. Additional research
can be conducted in research centers for improving energy-intensive
industrial processes like the refining and processing of steel scrap. The
lead agency for these centers-whose research should not be confined
to applications of newly discovered scientific phenomena like lasers,
bioengineering, or superconductivity-could       be DOE or NSF, although
there should be government-wide technical cooperation. In improving
17X industrial competitiveness, the council also advocated the govern-
ment’s establishing a coordination program to monitor and distribute
information on foreign energy-efficiency research and technical devel-
opment, so that the technological needs of domestic firms, necessary
federal research investments, and the export potential for U.S.-made
energy-efficiency products and process technologies can be identified.

To improve the affordability of buildings, the council suggests raising
their efficiencies, so that their energy costs are reduced by 30 to 50 per-
cent. According to the report, the government could improve the effec-
tiveness of and increase funding for low-income weatherization;
especially for multi-family buildings. For federal office buildings, it sug-
gested that conservation investment guidelines and new aggressive
energy conservation goals be established, such as 25 percent energy sav-
ings per square foot of floor space within 10 years. It also suggested
that federal officials be prompted to employ energy-saving technologies
by allowing them to retain part of their energy savings to meet agency
budgetary needs. With regard to non-federal buildings, it advocated the
establishment of federal minimum efficiency standards for fluorescent
and incandescent lamps. By the year 2000, such standards could annu-
ally reduce electricity consumption by 25 billion kWh and save consum-
ers approximately $1.9 billion.

The Council’s report also noted the US. government can help-directly,
through its agencies, and indirectly, through the development institu-
tions it financially supports- developing nations acquire the skills and
technology to make their use of energy more efficient. Directly through
its Agency for International Development and other agencies, it can
arrange for experts from universities and the private sector to support

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                development of efficient fossil fuel- or biofuel-based technologies, tech-
                nical and program data bases, and information exchange in the Third
                World. Through its Export-Import Bank and Trade and Development
                Program, the government can help developing nations acquire energy-
                efficient skills and technology by financially supporting domestic firms’
                marketing and by establishing joint technology ventures in those coun-
                tries. According to the report, the U.S. government should convince mul-
                tilateral lending and development institutions like the World Bank,
                which provide much of the funding and technical assistance for Third
                World energy projects, to support least-cost conservation. Since the U.S.
                is a major donor to these multilateral institutions, it could advocate a
                fundamental reorientation in their energy planning and lending policies
                that may benefit this country. The US. may gain new export markets
                for environmentally beneficial, energy-efficient technologies. As devel-
                oping nations use this technology, their economic productivity and
                amount of free foreign exchange can rise, which may in turn enable
                them to increase their imports of U.S. goods,

                Dr. Daniel J. Dudek, Senior Economist for the Environmental Defense
Environmental   Fund, on September 19, 1988, in testimony before the Senate Committee
Defense Fund    on Energy and Natural Resources, provided his views on how the U.S.
                Government should respond to global warming concerns. To arrest the
                rapid growth of atmospheric CO,emissions that could result from
                decreased real energy prices and future increased utilization, and which
                would be responsible in part for any global warming, Dudek would
                require all new CO,sources to find compensating CO, emissions reduc-
                tions elsewhere. CO, offsets, which could spur new energy-efficiency
                developments, could be feasibly applied to the stationary sources that
                account for 70 percent of total CO, emissions in the U.S. The federal
                government could identify and evaluate alternative offset opportunities,
                which could make the construction of new expensive power generating
                capacity unnecessary. Such opportunities include CO, scrubbing and dis-
                posal from power plant stack gases, and conservation measures like
                planting shade trees around homes to reduce energy demand. However,
                these offsets are relatively expensive. Planting shade trees in residential
                areas is estimated to cost between $1.49 to $7.43 per metric ton of
                CO,prevented, while removing 90 percent of the CO, from a modern
                coal-fired 200 megawatt plant’s stacks would increase its electric gener-
                ating costs by 3 to 6 times, depending upon the CO,disposal option used.
                Investments could also be made in mass transit options to reduce mobile
                sources of CO,, but they, too, are likely to be expensive,

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                      Due to the high costs of the aforementioned options, Dr. Dudek advo-
                      cated the widespread planting of trees as a modestly costing offset for
                      CO, emissions. Planting can also lead to the reduction of erosion and sur-
                      plus agricultural production, to the generation of energy from biomass,
                      and to the production of timber goods.

                      In addition to the environmental benefits accrued from tying global
                      warming-instigated afforestation, Dr. Dudek also noted that with proper
                      management, trees could be cultivated plantation-style, so that their
                      wood could be used for furniture and pulpwood production, or for elec-
                      tricity generation through biomass combustion.

                      Erik Storm, Deputy Associate Director, Inertial Confinement Fusion I’ro-
F&ion Energy Option   gram at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, advocated the
                      use of fusion energy in his June 29, 1988, testimony before the House
                      Subcommittee on Natural Resources, Agriculture Research and Environ-
                      ment, and the House Subcommittee on Science, Research, and Technol-
                      ogy. Fusion occurs when the nuclei of lighter hydrogen atoms are
                      combined, i.e., under high temperatures and pressures, into a single
                      heavier helium nucleus. Some of the original nuclei mass is converted
                      into energy.

                      Erik Storm advocated fusion since he felt it was the only advanced
                      energy option that had the potential to provide an environmentally
                      attractive, safe, and virtually inexhaustible energy source. Such a
                      source would be needed to meet global energy demand that will rise as
                      the world population increases and the Third World industrializes. As
                      fusion is powered with deuterium- which can be extracted from ordi-
                      nary water for pennies per gallon-and with tritium-which         can be
                      derived from lithium supplies that are expected to last for more than
                      10,000 years-it can replace the greenhouse gas-emitting combustion of
                      limited fossil fuel resources, according to Storm. Fusion, which could
                      offer the ideal of high density power production, would also be a safe
                      energy option with regard to radioactive waste and emissions concerns.
                      The tritium used in fusion reactors has a radioactive half-life of only 12-
                      1/2 years compared to the longer ones of fission fuel and fission by-
                      products Meltdowns are not possible with a fusion reactor, according to
                      Storm, because only a small amount of fuel is present at one time, and
                      because it is not a self-sustaining reaction. As an additional safeguard
                      against emissions of radioactive materials, a fusion power plant can be
                      designed so that even if the plant were demolished, the environmental
                      exposure at the site would be well below today’s industrial standards.

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Dr. Storm noted that with a national commitment it is possible that com-
mercial fusion power could be a reality early in the 21st century because
the scientific feasibility of fusion energy is now certain-a claim that
could not be made 5 years ago. Dr. Storm believes that a national policy
to support long-term fusion energy research and development will help
ensure implementing fusion technology for commercial power.

Page 48                             GAO/RCED-90-74BR   DOE’s Programs on Global Warming
    Appendix III

    Major Contributorsto This Briefing Report

                             Robert E, Allen, Jr., Assistant Director
    Resources,               Richard E. lager, Evaluator-in-Charge
    Community, and           Deborah Che, Evaluator
    I)evelopment Division,
    Washington, DC.

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