Editor's note: The headline and first two paragraphs of this story have been corrected to clarify that FERC could operate until its carryover funds run out.
Nearly all Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff and about 60% of Department of Energy full-time equivalent staff members would be furloughed if they run out of funds after a government shutdown expected at the end of this month, according to their “lapse in appropriations” plans.
DOE said it has enough funding to operate during a brief government shutdown. In case of a shutdown, FERC management would determine how long operations can be supported using carryover funds, according to its plan.
Senate Democrats and Republicans reached an agreement Tuesday on a continuing resolution that would keep the federal government funded after Sept. 30, the end of its fiscal year, and avoid a shutdown, but it is unclear if the Republican-controlled House would approve it. The Senate measure would extend federal funding through Nov. 17, giving Congress more time to pass annual spending bills.
About 3.8% of FERC’s 1,566 employees are considered “excepted staff” and in a shutdown would continue working on functions that protect life and property, such as inspecting hydroelectric and liquefied natural gas projects and monitoring grid reliability, FERC said in its plan for operations during a government closure.
Some FERC staff would also continue monitoring energy markets.
“Actions in these markets sometimes require the commission to act urgently to protect the property of market participants,” FERC said. “The excepted staff will perform a minimum level of oversight, to monitor for urgent matters.”
Within a half business day of a shutdown, FERC will stop accepting filings from the public and postpone all deadlines and due dates for all pending matters not related to excepted activities, the agency said.
FERC commissioners will continue working, according to the plan.
Meanwhile, the Department of Energy said it would be generally unaffected by a shutdown that lasted up to five days.
“DOE has historically had sufficient previously appropriated funds that remain available to support operations during a short term lapse,” the department said.
Each part of DOE will continue to operate until prior year balances for funding of federal employees has run out, the department said. DOE has 13,850 full-time equivalents, according to a summary of its lapse in appropriations plan.
DOE said that performance of contracts and financial assistance instruments would continue in line with their terms, including any provisions that limit funding.