With the second day of the US federal government shutdown now behind us, we're getting a lot of information on how the closure is affecting people across the country. For the green car world, the biggest impact we know of right now is that the US Environmental Protection Agency is operating with a skeleton staff. According to Reuters, the EPA "will take one of the biggest hits of any federal agency" and only has seven percent of its work force at the office today.

We don't know how this closure will affect green cars exactly, but we do know that the offices that handles air pollution rules and the update to the renewable fuel volume standards for 2014 are mostly closed. The EPA said in a statement on the shutdown (PDF) that most of the EPA workers still on the job are "providing for homeland and national security" or in some other way involved in law enforcement or emergency response to an environmental catastrophe. We don't think fuel economy testing fits in that designation. The shutdown will also likely push back the EPA's recently issued new rules for coal plants.

We tried to get a comment from the EPA, but emails sent to our contacts at the EPA immediately bounced back with some version of the following message: "I am out of the office for the duration of the government shutdown. I will not be checking messages, but will return your message upon my return to the office." Like everyone else, we wonder when that might be.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 109 Comments
      • 2 Days Ago
      Non essential employees are being furloughed. Doesn't that tell you something about the number of non-essential jobs we as taxpayers are footing the bill for?
        • 2 Days Ago
        I'm footing the bill for them too. And I disagree with you. The non-essential people handle non-mission critical functions so that mission critical functions can be handled by mission critical people; however if there are no mission critical people working because they are the ones handling non-mission critical jobs; then nothing really gets accomplished does it?
        • 2 Days Ago
        Non-essential is not an accurate term for those that have been furloughed. As this furlough drags on you will see far reaching negative effects of these so called non-essential furloughs. Maybe then you will realize how essential these positions actually are.
      DarylMc
      • 2 Days Ago
      Hey EZEE If it makes you feel any better, is there anything I can say to convince you that in the world scheme of things Obama would be considered a right wing conservative? MarcoPolo will probably shoot me down for this and I say it coming from a strong conservative background but even in Australia the lines between left and right are quite blurred. We recently had an election here and change of government from left to right. The results of the elections over the last decades don't waver that far from 50/50 and for the previous government it was a tenuous situation, relying on independent representatives to hold power. If there was anything I think I can learn from my decades of watching politics it would be that in the situation where there is 50% of the population is pissed off and looking to buck the system, the whole country suffers. That is what’s going on in the USA, also here and a shame for western democracy. What strikes me as the most important thing for a country is to get the people to work together for the benefit of everyone in the country. I don’t observe this happening in the western democracies and frankly I wonder if countries like China aren’t doing a better job. Look at it this way. Our last government knew it was in deep **** before the election. Did they change the policies that pissed off most of the population? No they did not, they just changed the leader.
      LA is Best
      • 2 Days Ago
      EPA shutdown? GOOD, now business will get a little relief!
      EVnerdGene
      • 2 Days Ago
      @raktmn Remember a month or two ago you were arguing with me that we now had a balanced budget - because of increasing revenues, and cutting spending ??? If that was true: Q. Why will the next battle be raising the debt ceiling ? We'll be running out of cash on October 17 according to WSJ and NYT this morning (and this increase is needed just 17 days after the new fiscal year began). I'd laugh, butt
        raktmn
        • 2 Days Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        Nerd, I've never said we now have a balanced budget. Or at least not since Clinton was President. You are recalling incorrectly. What I recall from that exchange is spending way too much time explaining to you the difference between debt and deficit, and the difference between actual deficit spending vs. budget deficits, and when our fiscal years actually begin and end. It was tedious, and you clearly still don't understand. First off, you are wrongly conflating the debt ceiling and the fiscal year. The two have absolutely nothing to do with each other. There is no link between them. Suggesting there is any link at all is voodoo thinking. Like thinking the sun goes dark when you close your eyes. The two events happening close to each other is pure coincidence. And it isn't any news to me like it apparently is something new you've just figured out. I've been talking about this all year.
        EZEE
        • 2 Days Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        The deficit has been reduced, but balanced? It dropped from about $1.4 trillion, to about $700 billion. I had not heard of any balancing. Revenues did increase along with the economy, but largely, nothing was cut. The sequestration almost doesn't even count. A major reason why the democrats never wanted to pass a budget (hence, all of these continuing resolutions, which, this process is in violation of the constitution), was because the original $780 billion stimulus was added to the baseline - basically, that same money would be spend every single year, since it was a part of the budget (I know, crazy, but that is how government works). Since there was no budget, the continuing resolutions basically said, "Okay okay, we keep spending at prior levels" which including the stimulus - over and over and over. Basically a democrats wet dream. Now, we are 5 years in with no budgets, so increasing revenues are cutting into that 'baseline' - to which of course, now we have Obamacare, so we will start to see deficits increase again - but up until now, this odd approach has helped ot reduce the deficit - from the monstorous $1.4 trillion, that is.
          raktmn
          • 2 Days Ago
          @EZEE
          Typo alert: 1.9 was supposed to be 1.79. I don't know what happened to the extra 7, or where it ran off to. Maybe it just didn't like being in a threesome with 1 and 9?
          raktmn
          • 2 Days Ago
          @EZEE
          EZEE -- You are correct. The actual deficit spending for FY2013 was exactly $578,696,513,396.97 (0.58 Trillion) after accounting for non-budgetary revenues from sources like Fannie/Freddie and AIG making off-budget dividend payments to the Treasury. On-budget spending is estimated to be in the upper $600 billion range, but because the govt is shutdown we haven't gotten those final numbers yet. FY2009 (which started in 2008 under the previous admin) was the worst period of actual deficit spending, with $1,785,603,936,384.06 (1.9 Trillion) in actual deficit spending. This includes both on-budget spending, and off-budget spending, including the TARP and other bailout money that was off-budget. All figures are easy for anyone to confirm on the Treasury's daily debt to the penny website. http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/search I also concur that this was cut neither by increases in tax rates or reductions in budgeted spending, but by increased revenues linked to the slowly recovering economy. Changes in the budget or changes in tax laws were both minor factors, with tax law changes contributing about 75% more than spending cuts, but neither being significant overall.
          raktmn
          • 2 Days Ago
          @EZEE
          EZEE -- you are off a bit on the continuing resolutions, but not entirely incorrect. First off you are making the classic mistake of thinking the $780 Billion in stimulus was a single year program. It never was, it was always a multi-year program. So no, the budget is not increased by $780 in ANY year by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (AKA Obama stimulus). Not in 2009, not in 2010, never. There is a small shred of truth in your comments, because SOME of the stimulus spending has been rolled over and increased by the continuing resolutions. It just isn't anywhere near that $780 billion every single year that you claim. The actual increase due to the continuing resolutions was only to a total of $840 billion. That is a total of $840 from 2009 through 2013 TOTAL for all years, not each year. You can track every single penny of stimulus spending right here: http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/fundingoverview/Pages/fundingbreakdown.aspx Yes, Obama was able to accomplish this relatively small increase in total stimulus spending due to the continuing resolutions, but an additional $780 billion in stimulus each year was never authorized, and never spent. That is a gross exaggeration of the facts. Finally, every bill that the Congress passes that authorizes spending IS a budget bill, and is 100% Constitutional, even if the title says "continuing resolution" instead of "budget bill". Congress could take a piece of toilet paper and write "we authorize EZEE to spend $2 Trillion dollars to run the govt any way he wants" and it would be a lawful and constitutional budget bill the moment the president signs it.
        raktmn
        • 2 Days Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        Nerd - Now that you have finally figured out that we are about to hit the debt ceiling, what do you want Congress to do about it? How would you have them all vote, if you had the power to control them?
      • 2 Days Ago
      They should shut the EPA down for good WORTHLESS
      raktmn
      • 2 Days Ago
      I wonder how many car makers are waiting for EPA numbers or EPA clearance for emissions on new cars before they can start selling them in the US? The shutdown would effectively stop all of these new cars from being able to be sold in the US.
        EZEE
        • 2 Days Ago
        @raktmn
        Yes, the ruinous healthcare program has been stopped. Oh wait, it hasn't. Well, during the battle over cutting spending or raising taxes, they won there! Oh wait, nothing was cut, but taxes were raised. Meanwhile, Obama negotiates with Iran but refuses to do so with republicans. Spoilt children indeed.
          raktmn
          • 2 Days Ago
          @EZEE
          Thanks for drawing the comparison between Iran and the Republican Party. They are very similar. Apparently one of the two is a more rational negotiating partner....
        markkiernan
        • 2 Days Ago
        @raktmn
        The republicans don't care, they threw their tantrum and it worked. The spoilt children got their way.
      cae973
      • 2 Days Ago
      ok so lets suggest the white house be cut to one chef...and that michele stop taking her extended family are expensive vacations and that during emergenices both domestic and foreign obama stop going off to play golf and try to actually be a president. By the way for all those who are going to call me a tea bagger I am an independent who actually voted for obama in 2008...a decision I deeply regret along with my husband who was a lifelong democrat and because of obama and what the democratic party has become is now also an independent:}
        FITZ
        • 2 Days Ago
        @cae973
        Cae973, I think you make great suggestions here... not just since the 'shut-down' but long before... people are suffering while 'our' dear president is so wasteful. It is time for him to put on his BIG BOY PANTS...
        charlie
        • 2 Days Ago
        @cae973
        Yeah your a liar.
      • 2 Days Ago
      A full closure of the Dept of Energy & Education Dept. should be added to the list also
        • 2 Days Ago
        Department of education funds the education of thousands of students. Defund them, you can forget about having educated Americans.
          EZEE
          • 2 Days Ago
          The federal government, which has the capacity of deficit spending and printing money, took much of the spending away from the states.
          streamstalker4
          • 2 Days Ago
          Dept of Ed. didn't exist before 1980- apparently no one in the country was educated before then...
      • 2 Days Ago
      The problem is that the poor, women and minorities even though hurt significantly by this program will still vote for this administration 10 times out of 10 as they are bribed with free healthcare, cell phone, college loan elimination, housing credits and food stamps. They have evolved to total dependence on the government and having their hours cut only means they get more food stamps and unemployment.
      Herbert
      • 2 Days Ago
      Shut it down permanently, Amen
      Ram426
      • 2 Days Ago
      The EPA is the main reason that companies has left the country. And they always do their worst when ever a dumasscrat is in office.
      EVnerdGene
      • 2 Days Ago
      Good question. If I were President, I'd say 'send me a balanced f'ing budget or I won't sign it.' In fact, I want a spending budget 10% under proven projected revenues ( no more funny bunny accounting practices like Enron - if we aren't following projections, we'll have to make further cuts during the year - write that into the budget also). We DO need to start reducing our national debt SOMETIME - now is as good a time as any - now that the economy has improved so much, and unemployment is way way down according to my DOC and DOL statistics - and we no they are never wrong or cook the books for political expediency. What you cut; I really don't care. Start with reducing the Federal bureaucracy. I'd say we could live without about 20% of the civil service across the board and no one would notice (err, except them). But I don't just want across the board cuts; let's be intelligent about this. -- DofEducation - gone - the states can handle it. -- DofEnergy - 16000 employees - well they're important - I'd say we need at least 3000. But at least 2/3rds of the 93000 DOE civilian contractors must go search for other look-busy jobs. -- EPA - 17000 employees. I'd say that's about 16000 too many. And SORRY, the 2400-2900 (sorry no one can count, cause it's still being written even though no one that signed the law has read it) Obamacare act was a massive monstrosity of a mistake that we just can't afford right now - we'll have to postpone it until we can come up with some plan that won't drive us further into debt. -- PBS, NPR - hey they claim they don't need the subsidy anymore, so pull these 50 year old children off the teat already. And no, we can't do anymore QEs (currently $85 Billion per month of money printing). All it does is contribute to inflation, hurt the few of our citizens that still work for a living but don't work for the people that print money. It also hurts our credit rating which has already dropped and will drop again with our criminally negligent fiscal policies. Come on folks. Time to run a real country, not some welfare recipients' utopia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li0no7O9zmE raktmn - I distinctly remember you telling me that we were now running surpluses. Admit your were full of sh!t as I said you were. Of course you won't little man. But don't worry. Even though you are temporarily laid-off from your surfin'-all-day-long-at-my-gov'ment-job job, you bureaucrats will be paid-in-full for the time you didn't work. Sorry no more time for "arguing with idiots" anymore (great book btw), some of us still work for a living to pay those on the teats.
    • Load More Comments