EPA extends Clean Power Plan comment period

By Anna Simet | September 17, 2014

The U.S. EPA has extended the comment period on its proposed Clean Power Plan for an additional month and a half.

During a Sept. 16 press call, Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Air and Radiation, said that since the 120-day public comment period went into effect, the agency has met with hundreds of groups in all 50 states, held four public meetings across the U.S. that more than 2,700 people attended, and received more than 750,000 comments on the proposal plan.

However, many individuals and groups are still working crafting responses, she said. “While we’ve heard quite a bit so far, we know that there are many individuals and groups continuing to work to formulate their input…because of the strong amount of interest we’ve seen from stakeholders, we are announcing today that we are extending the comment period for an additional 45 days.”

The comment period will now close on Dec. 1, allowing the public a total of about six months to review and provide input on the proposal.

McCabe concluded by saying that that climate action doesn’t dull America’s competitive edge, but sharpens it. “It spurs innovation, encourages investment, grows industries, and creates jobs,” she said.  “The critics have been wrong before, and they’re wrong again when attacking the Clean Power Plan: throughout EPA history, we’ve cut air pollution by 70 percent while GDP has tripled.”

The Clean Power Plan, released soon after the National Climate Assessment in June, aims to reduce carbon emission by 30 percent by 2030  when compared to 2005 emissions levels, and the use of biomass-derived fuels is one of several strategies identified by the EPA as a way to meet the proposal’s carbon reduction goals.

The proposal provides guidelines for states to develop plans to meet state-specific goals set by EPA, and directs states to choose the right mix of generation using diverse fuels, energy efficiency and demand-side management to meet the goals and their own needs. It allows them to work alone to develop individual plans, or to work together with other states to develop multi-state plans.