U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both (R-WY), joined a bipartisan group of 53 senators this week in calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to provide a 60-day extension for the public comment period on EPA’s proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

The effort is led by Senators Deb Fischer, (R-Neb) and Heidi Heitkamp, (D-ND).

Taking issue with the incredibly complex and broad nature of the proposal that would impact electric generation, use, and costs throughout the country, the group of Senators expressed the need for an additional 60 days in order to provide more time for all sides to fully review it and offer comments.

In their letter to the EPA, the senators wrote, “This extension is critical to ensure that state regulatory agencies and other stakeholders have adequate time to fully analyze and comment on the proposal. It is also important to note that the challenge is not only one of commenting on the complexity and sweeping scope of the rule, but also providing an opportunity to digest more than 600 supporting documents released by EPA in support of this proposal.”

In May, Enzi and Barrasso joined a similar effort by Fischer and Heitkamp to request the EPA grant at least 120 days for public comment on its new proposal on existing power plants. While the 120-day public comment period was granted, the senators heard immediately from a variety of parties in their states, including utilities, state regulators, regional generation and transmission organizations, and many more. These parties made it known that the rule is more difficult to analyze and assess than they had initially expected.

Additionally, some of the issues posed by the new rule require discussions and collaboration with a variety of state, regional, and national officials to provide accurate and complete comments on the feasibility of the rule and options.