Who keeps the lights on in a government shutdown?

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) continue to operate under "normal conditions," according to officials from the two agencies.

An extended shutdown could force a reduction of staff at the two agencies that work together to ensure the security and reliability of the nation's electric grid, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center.

FERC's shutdown plan lists six activities as essential, including "continued monitoring of the reliability of the bulk power system and threats to energy infrastructures under the Commission’s jurisdiction."

That includes real-time operations of the bulk power system and a 24/7 emergency message notification system to alert the five FERC commissioners in the case of emergencies. The plan allocates four employees to this function who "will perform a minimum level of these oversight roles, to monitor for urgent matters."

Of course, none of this directly affects the state and local agencies and nongovernmental organizations that operate the grid. They are the ones that generate and transmit electricity while DOE and FERC monitor, coordinate, regulate and research.

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Leveraging the Power of Information in the Energy Industry

Information Governance is about more than compliance. It’s about using your information to drive ...

Latest PennEnergy Jobs

PennEnergy Oil & Gas Jobs