EIA announces furloughs
October 11th, 2013
04:03 PM ET
6 months ago

EIA announces furloughs

Washington (CNN) - The U.S. Energy Information Agency announced it will furlough 346 federal employees and more than 200 contractors at close of business on Friday. The furloughs affect nearly the entire EIA staff and will force the agency to cease operations beginning next week.

“Data releases and analyses will not be published during the furlough of EIA staff,” spokesman Jonathan Cogan said in a statement announcing the furloughs.

If the government shutdown is resolved soon, the EIA’s closure isn’t likely to have too big of an economic effect, said Kenneth Medlock, senior director of the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Every week, the EIA releases reports on the inventory of natural gas, crude oil and petroleum in storage. Prior to the release, commodities traders place bets on the storage levels, and those bets are resolved by the EIA’s data.

According to Medlock, the most immediate impact will be less informed investments on the commodities market and possible market corrections on energy prices when EIA reporting resumes.

“Market intel is going to say X, and you don’t really know whether to unwind your position or reinforce your position until the storage report is released and that’s housed at EIA,” said Medlock, adding that the process is now going to be “a lot less informed.”

While the short term impact is primarily on the energy market, depending on how long the shutdown lasts consumers could see a moderate impact on prices at the gas pump. This is due to the impact EIA storage reports have on energy prices based on supply and demand. When the reports show an increase in storage levels, prices tend to go down. When the reports show a decrease in storage levels, prices tend to go up.

These storage reports are based on survey results, and the EIA instructed its respondents to continue to submit data during the shutdown so the storage surveys can be brought up to date once the agency’s reporting resumes. The longer the shutdown lasts, the longer traders are left to guess at storage levels without the transparency provided by the EIA.

“If the bets are that storage is building and then EIA down the road compiles the data and it turns out storage didn’t build as much or dropped a little, there could be a correction in the market,” Medlock said. “It creates an additional level of uncertainty. You don’t have that clear signal about supply and demand that you usually do.”


Filed under: Government Shutdown
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. tiscali.it

    this is what the teaparty want so the un-employment rate goes back up so they can say... obama is this and that....

    BUT this is NOT was the majority of Americans want... Teaparty = Koch money.... but just like 2008 / 2012 the people will be expressing how they feel about all this BS

    October 11, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Data Driven

    Wintertime for commodities players! Well, don't worry, Exxon, Data Driven will make up the shortfall at the pump.

    October 11, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    To the haters of government employees.
    Remember your rants when you do not receive your Social Security check on time or you can't take your children or grandchildren to our national Zoo or when the economy tanks because people will stop coming to the US if they can't get into our museums or parks.
    Food banks are being depleted and there's nothing to fill them with because most of those who give are the many that right now don't have a paying job or their jobs are closely related to the federal government and they are not selling food or receiving wages by providing a service.
    On another note, my husband works for the government. He HAS to show up to work, still works 10-12 hours a day and we still don't know whether he is going to get paid while the TEAQUEDA traitors are receiving money for doing absolutely nothing constructive for our country.
    This reminds me of people who don't like police officers until they need them!

    October 11, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Mission Accomplished continues. The Tea Party people campaigned on shutting it all down permanently, floks. They campaigned on never raising the debt ceiling. People like Rand Paul campaigned on gettring rid of the Treasury. Rick Perry campaigned on getting rid of, getting rid of, you know what I mean. These people don't want to pay any taxes, and the only way to guarantee that is to destroy the tax collector.

    October 11, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. Ol' Yeller

    They don't need tax collectors because America doesn't need taxes.
    They don't need Police Officers because they have guns.
    They don't need trial lawyers because they don't need courts (unless a decision agrees with them, then it's okay).
    They don't need goverment because it is wasteful and corrupt.
    All we need is a strong military, tax cuts for the rich, and no minimum wage. Then we will be a great country again.

    October 11, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. buongiorno

    major news that we should all be aware of that reflects the commodities and when they increase and decrease in supply GO FIGURE

    October 11, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Ted Cruz going short on America .

    What investment firm dose Mrs Cruz work for ?

    October 11, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |