Shutdown continues to alter U.S. energy meetings, services

While Congress and the White House continue to wrangle over a deal to reopen the federal government, many energy-related meetings are being cancelled or postponed in the meantime.

Because of the government shutdown, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has postponed two public listening sessions on its carbon emission standards that were scheduled for Oct. 15 in Boston, and Oct. 18 in Philadelphia. EPA will reschedule these sessions when the government reopens.

EPA will hold 11 public listening sessions across the country to solicit ideas and input from the public and stakeholders about the best Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has also called upon EPA to hold a listening session in Kentucky.

EPA had previously released a proposed rule to address CO2 emissions from new power plants.

All public Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) meetings are suspended while the NRC is shutdown. Those already postponed or cancelled include both Commission meetings scheduled for Oct. 16 and Oct. 18. Also postponed are the Waste Confidence meetings originally scheduled for the weeks of Oct. 14 and Oct. 21, according to an NRC blog posting.

No decision has yet been made about other Waste Confidence meetings. Only about 300 of our 3,900 staff members are reporting to duty, during the shutdown, NRC has said.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) ceased operations at the end of Oct. 11 in connection with the shutdown. Currently, none of the daily reports typically posted on the EIA or NRC websites are being posted.

The federal shutdown had already postponed one EIA-related meeting from October to Nov. 1. EIA and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) were originally scheduled to hold the winter fuels conference Oct. 8 in Washington, D.C.

As of Oct. 10, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) was still planning to go ahead with its Oct. 17 meeting. FERC has said that it is continuing its normal business operations.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has not updated its website since Oct. 1 due to the shutdown although the website offers information on how individuals can report hazards.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.