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Government shutdown crimps US energy innovation

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Carolyn Kaster/AP/File

(Read caption) The sun rises behind the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, amid a continuing government shutdown.

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As of 12 o’clock midnight on the 30th September 2013, the US federal government has officially shutdown due to Congress’s failure to pass a new budget for the coming fiscal year. Since 2012 the government has been running on a Continue Resolution, an extension of the previous budget, but this time a new decision was needed; and it wasn’t made.

Most people will concentrate on the political implications that this shutdown will lead to, but the fact is that it’s directly impacting on America’s overall capacity to drive global energy innovation. The short-term lack of a federal government means that many of the nation’s top energy innovation institutions and laboratories must scale down their operations, or be completely shutdown.

Basically, the longer this continues, the less the US will be able to carry out cutting edge research, and produce next generation energy technologies. Given time this will threaten the country’s ability to remain internationally competitive and its progress to a low-carbon economy. (Related article: Only Energy Isolation Equates to Energy Security

As a result of the shutdown:

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