Some federal workers are still working in Colorado, despite the government shutdown. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is still overseeing oil and gas operations in the state.
There are three active drilling rigs in the Piceance Basin. All have BLM employees there monitoring them, according to Eric Carlson, the executive director of the West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association. He says it’s unclear if these people are getting paid.
The longer the shutdown, Carlson says, the less likely BLM can continue overseeing the operations.
"An extended furlough is going to create much more complications and I believe there are some operations in other states where they have just shut their rigs down," he said.
BLM employees who oversee oil and gas operations aren’t furloughed during government shutdowns, nor are the agency’s firefighters and law enforcement.