The 27 states challenging the CPP have requested that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy toll the closing of the comment period on the agency’s proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) until at least 60 days after the Supreme Court’s stay of the CPP is lifted (if the CPP survives judicial review). Comments are currently due on September 2, 2016, which is a four-day extension from the initial comment date to align the public comment period with the public hearing submittal time frame. According to the states, however, the September 2 deadline improperly compels “States to take action on a proposal that would not exist but for the [CPP].” The states assert that extending the comment deadline is required by the stay, and would be consistent with the practice of other federal agencies and the notice and comment rulemaking process.
The CEIP is an optional program intended to incentivize early investment in certain renewable generation and demand-side energy efficiency projects in low-income communities. Last week, on August 3, 2016, EPA held a public hearing on the proposed rule in Chicago, Illinois. EPA also hosted two webinars on the CEIP proposal earlier this summer, one for states and local agencies, and another for communities and environmental justice groups.