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Shutdown delays U.S. winter fuels meeting

Oct. 8, 2013 at 7:57 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Energy Department said it was postponing a conference on the outlook for winter energy demand because of the partial federal government shutdown.

Both parties continue to blame the other over the fiscal stalemate that closed portions of the federal government last week. The shutdown comes as the government approaches its $16.7 trillion debt ceiling, which the White House says it will reach Oct. 17.

The U.S. Energy Department said it was postponing a winter fuels outlook conference scheduled Tuesday to Nov. 1 because of the federal government shutdown. The conference is meant to highlight the demand forecast for petroleum, natural gas and electricity this winter.

It's just the latest in a series of suspensions from federal agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency said last week its operations are affected, though the Nuclear Regulatory Agency said it was "prepared for all contingencies."

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a division in the Interior Department, said most of its energy work was halted during the stalemate.

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