Government Shutdown: More Energy and Environment Fallout


by | Oct 2, 2013

CapitolMore details are emerging on the government shutdown’s effect on environmental and energy regulations:

The government still published new regulations yesterday and today, because some rules were already scheduled for printing in the Federal Register. But the pace of rule-making should now start to slow substantially, with agencies only issuing notices needed for the protection of life and property, the Hill says. Even documents funded under prior year appropriations will not be published.

The Federal Register has also suspended updates to its Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, which under normal circumstances is regularly updated.

Over at the EPA, the shutdown could interfere with 11 planned “listening sessions” around the country, where the agency will solicit the public’s feedback on proposed carbon standards for new power plants, the National Journal reported. But former EPA air official Jeff Holmstead said that since the rules are already public, “that’s not really a significant part of rulemaking at this point.”

The US Energy Information Administration has enough money to operate through about October 11, an EIA official told Reuters. Energy markets are concerned about the agency’s oil and natural gas inventory data, normally released every Wednesday and Thursday.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which previously outlined a list of suspended and continuing functions, rather mysteriously issued a brief notice saying that it will “continue normal business operations and maintain normal business hours.”

And presumably as a result of the shutdown and the ongoing negotiations between the House, Senate and White House, the hearing planned for today on the North American Energy Infrastructure Act, by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subpanel on energy and power, has been postponed. A new date and time have yet to be determined.

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