- Funding for the federal government ran out at the end of Friday, the result of a fierce debate over immigration and a White House, Senate and House which have so-far failed to reach any kind of compromise. As a result, many government functions are now shut down, though several agencies focused on the energy space will continue to operate.
- Both the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency will open per usual Monday morning since they do not have funding subject to annual appropriations. A notice from Administrator Scott Pruitt last week indicated EPA had sufficient funding to remain open through Friday.
- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a statement last week linking to a contingency plan but also adding that the commission "will stay open until further notice."
Government shutdowns are relatively rare, and can vary widely. The most public example of this is national parks— more than 400 shut down during the shutdown five years ago, but they will remain at least partially open, according to Vox. And some agencies have sufficient resources to continue operations for a brief time, depending on how their funding was appropriated.
The New York Times also reports the White House is encouraging government agencies to remain open if they can. All of the EPA's employees are showing up as usual this week. A Friday statement from Pruitt noted the agency has sufficient resources to stay open for a "limited amount of time." The agency will give more updates should the shutdown continue this week, and all travel will need to be approved through the administrator's office.
DOE issued a contingency plan, but said that most of the agency's appropriations are multi-year or no-year.
"In the immediate future, we expect ... federal employees to continue to report for work as scheduled. A prolonged lapse in appropriations may require subsequent employee furloughs," the agency said in a statement. "If there is an imminent threat to human life or protection of property, a limited number of employees may be recalled from furlough status."
The agency also said it expects to continue performance of contracts and financial assistance instruments in accordance with their terms. But depending upon the length of the shutdown, DOE said it "may need to review the activities of its contractors and only those activities where the suspension of the function of the contract would imminently threaten the safety of human life or the protection of property will be permitted to continue."
FERC issued a statement that it "will utilize its prior year budget authority to continue operations starting Monday, January 22, 2018. The Commission will stay open until further notice."
If the commission does have a lapse in funding, FERC said it would retain 49 employees and 18 contractors. Those retained employees would compose 3.4% of the agency's 1,465 employees.