As the sequester's across-the-board cuts go into effect and Washington stares down a month's end deadline to pass legislation to keep the government running, what's at stake for energy and environment policy?
Before sequestration kicked in on March 1, the White House warned that the cuts would slow down the Interior Department's process to review oil and gas permits; media reports have said the Environmental Protection Agency's oversight of Superfund sites, oil spills and pollution laws could also be at risk.
Are these concerns overblown? Or have they not been mentioned enough? What other energy and environment programs could be at risk? How will Washington and local governments be able to document how much, if at all, sequestration has impacted their programs, including energy and environment policies?
Washington is familiar with this kind of fiscal fight, with each party adamant its position is more right than the other's. Each time, policymakers seem to come to some sort of last-ditch solution, but no such solution ever creates a sense of long-term policy certainty that the private sector has said it wants from Washington. What kind of impact do these continual fiscal showdowns have on energy and environment policies?