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Focus on Regulation

Energy agencies face different fates in government shutdown

the CapitalFor the energy regulatory agencies, the effects of the shutdown have been mixed to date, but they will become more pronounced if the impasse lasts much longer.

Department of Energy (DOE)

The DOE receives what is known as “no-year” money. Such funds do not have to be expended in the year they are appropriated, but rather can be carried forward to be used as needed. Like other agencies, however, the DOE’s funding is appropriated by program, and the DOE may not move money from one program for which it has received an appropriation to another without congressional assent.

The DOE weathered the 21-day government shutdown in 1995-96 without any furloughs; and, thus far, it has avoided furloughing employees or closing any programs in this shutdown. It appears, however, that some support service and other contract services are being curtailed. The DOE has not issued a schedule indicating when funding will run out, but it seems clear that some programs have far more limited “carryover” funding from prior year appropriations than others.

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