Energy Department will initially stay open in shutdown

Energy Department will initially stay open in shutdown

The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to stay open initially if government funding lapses and leads to a federal shutdown.

DOE said Friday that it relies heavily on funds that are appropriated on a multi-year basis or not attached to a specific year, so it can afford to stay open and keep paying employees.

“Bottom line — the Department of Energy will be open for business on Monday,” DOE spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said.

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“Federal employees to continue to report for work as scheduled,” DOE said in updated guidance on its website.

That differs from other agencies employing hundreds of thousands of workers. Many offices would close and workers would not be expected to come in, while “essential” employees would have to work and not get paid until the shutdown ends.

As of Friday afternoon, Congress remained at an impasse on funding the government past midnight.

If the funding lapse continues, however, DOE may run out of money and be in trouble.

“A prolonged lapse in appropriations may require subsequent employee furloughs,” it said. “If there is an imminent threat to human life or protection of property, a limited number of employees may be recalled from furlough status.”

Operations that would continue through a shutdown include DOE’s oversight of the secure transportation of nuclear weapons and keeping DOE sites secure, the department said.