At 12:03 AM this morning, after lawmakers in Congress failed to reach agreement on funding the government, thousands of federal employees lumbered out into the streets of Washington, DC looking for taxpayer payer money to spend.
They knocked over trash cans, stuck their hands through windows and stopped cars in the street, hoping to find enough money to fund their jobs. However, without government money to fuel them, they remained weak and barely able to function. They were only able to scrape up enough money to keep a copy machine running at the Environmental Protection Agency.
“How are we going to create green jobs now?” asked one man, carrying a vintage solar module from Solyndra, looking to sell it for a few dollars.
Compounding the problem, NASA announced that its asteroid watch Twitter feed would go dark if the government lost funding — hindering efforts to educate the public if an asteroid were to hit earth. The city was on the verge of descending into chaos….
To those outside Washington who learn about the government shutdown by watching cable news, this is what the situation may seem like. It’s decidedly less epic in reality. But the consequences are still wide-reaching for the 818,000 federal employees — many outside Washington — who will be officially furloughed due to Congress’ inability to agree on funding the government.
So what does it mean for agencies with a role in energy? Here are a few.