EPA extends climate rule comment period

The Obama administration on Tuesday added more time to the clock for the public to comment on the president's signature climate rule on existing power plants.

The Environmental Protection Agency's head of the Air and Radiation Office, Janet McCabe, said the agency would extend the comment period another 45 days.

The EPA started with a 120-day public comment period, which is twice the typical 60 days afforded federal regulations.

Now, stakeholders have until Dec. 1 to comment on the rule, which mandates the nation's existing power plants cut carbon dioxide pollution 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

"We hope this additional time will give those entities wishing to submit comments the time they need to engage with us, ask questions and ultimately provide input that will help ensure that, in the end, this plan is practical, flexible, and achievable," McCabe said.

When asked if the delay would impact the EPA's timeline for finalizing the rule by next year, McCabe said the agency will have "plenty of time" to finish the rule and is "still working towards a June deadline."

The decision comes after more than half of the Senate urged the EPA last week to extend the comment period for another 60 days.

The EPA said its move to push back the comment period was not simply in response to the calls from lawmakers but other stakeholders as well, who want more time to provide input on the controversial rule.