Resounding Effects of the Government Shutdown

By Anna Simet | October 03, 2013

Fall is here, and so is the time of intense Congressional wrangling.

I have to admit that, even though the likeliness of a government shutdown continued to increase over the last couple of weeks, I really didn’t believe that it would actually happen.

But surprise, surprise, it has, and now I wish I would have been a little better prepared. Although I am fortunate enough to still be getting a paycheck, I will tell you that it is even affecting my work a little, as well as some of my colleagues.


Well, a considerable amount of people with whom we speak for articles work for the government. For example, the Forest Service. The U.S. DOE.  The U.S. EPA. And more specifically, the November issue of Biomass Magazine is themed U.S. Military Biopower and Biofuels Outlook, and some of the interviews I have had scheduled haven’t been able to move forward due to furloughs.

Word is that the shutdown could affect the renewable fuel standard. The EPA has been hit hard—I read that it is operating with less than seven percent of its workforce—and it is supposed to be working on its 2014 RVO, the rules for which are supposed to be finalized by December.

Obviously, the longer this shutdown lasts, the less likely it is that deadline will be met.

What else is affected? Renewable energy research, project permitting on government-owned land...and the list goes on and on outside the bioenergy/renewable industry.

Hopefully Congress can get it together before too much damage is done, but we better not hold our breath.