At its core, the Environmental Protection Agency is committed to broad outreach and engagement when developing rules and regulations that help protect human health and the environment where we live, learn and work.
Nowhere was that commitment to engagement more fully realized than in the development of the Clean Power Plan, the proposal to reduce harmful carbon pollution, drive innovation in the clean energy sector, and create new jobs across America.
Despite the full breadth and depth of the unprecedented outreach EPA engaged in to formulate and develop the Clean Power Plan proposal, some continue to push a flawed, cherry-picked, narrative that simply ignores the well-documented and widely reported and recognized sweep and range of the Agency’s engagement with the public, states and stakeholders over the past 14 months.
Our proposal, announced in June, was developed through extensive public outreach—one that reached tens of thousands of people across the country. EPA consulted with states, power companies, local communities, environmental groups, associations, labor groups, tribes, and many more. Before we put out the proposal, EPA met with more than 300 stakeholders, to gather their thoughts and ideas. Take a look at the meetings we held before June 2.
After issuing the proposal, EPA continued our outreach. Between June and September the agency met with about 300 groups, and we continue to meet with stakeholders on a daily basis both in Washington, DC and across the country. Here’s a list of EPA meetings after the proposal. At the same time, more than 2,700 people attended our July/August public hearings in Pittsburgh (in the fourth largest coal producing state), Denver, Atlanta and Washington, DC. We have already received comments from over a million people interested in the rule. All public comments are considered equally and we encourage people to submit their comments through website.
This process yielded several crucial components the EPA adopted in developing the proposed rule because it helped focus our attention on what was going on—on the ground—in states and communities across the country, and it generated public discussion and ideas from numerous groups and individuals that helped inform our thinking.
The dedicated women and men at EPA who worked tirelessly on this effort did exhaustive empirical research, investigation and the legal and policy design work. They reviewed a flood of information, applying and adhering closely to the Clean Air Act, and our own innovative analysis. And they crafted a proposal that ensures states and utilities have the flexibility they need to reduce carbon pollution in a practical and affordable way.
Additionally, EPA recently announced an extension of our comment period to nearly six months for our Clean Power Plan to continue to give everyone an opportunity to provide input on how best to reduce carbon pollution and spur investments in renewables and energy efficiency.
The fact is, EPA’s extraordinary outreach to business and industry, Main Street and Wall Street, elected officials, NGOs and others, coupled with the tireless work of dedicated Agency staff, is what led to this pragmatic, thoughtful and important proposal. One that will cut harmful carbon pollution and lay the foundation for a clean energy future and a stronger economy for our country.