At midnight on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, the U.S. federal government closed down to all but essential employees and services as the House and Senate failed to reach a funding deal. The ramifications of this impasse will be felt differently at various federal agencies, including those that regulate energy production and use in the U.S.
It is important to note that activities deemed essential, such as law enforcement, oversight functions, and maintenance to ensure grid reliability, will continue. On the other hand, the majority of permitting processes at the EPA, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy and Department of Interior will cease, causing delays in new projects trying to move forward. Contingency plans that provide greater detail on the individual activities that will and will not continue have been released by each agency:
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
- Department of Energy
- Department of Interior
The duration of this shutdown is unknown at this point as both sides appear to be dug in to their respective positions.