The Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday it will host three more public hearings on its move to repeal the Clean Power Plan, including one in San Francisco, after the agency was criticized for not conducting a transparent review process.
The EPA had planned only one public hearing, which it held last week over two days in Charleston, W.Va., the heart of coal country.
The new hearings will be held in San Francisco, Gillette, Wyo., and Kansas City, Mo., at dates and times to be determined.
“Due to the overwhelming response to our West Virginia hearing, we are announcing additional opportunities for the public to voice their views to the agency,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
The EPA proposed to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan on Oct. 10, with Pruitt saying that the Obama administration based the plan on an expansive and illegal interpretation of the Clean Air Act.
The Clean Power Plan, intended to reduce power plant emissions, was the main U.S. pledge as part of the international Paris climate change agreement, which the Trump administration intends to leave.
The plan would have required requires states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The plan never went into effect because the Supreme Court stayed the rule as it made its way through the courts.
But even the fiercest critics of the plan say Pruitt may not be able to repeal the rule without replacing it.
Indeed, he may issue a more modest version of the Clean Power Plan because the EPA is bound to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under a 2009 agency rule known as the endangerment finding.
Pruitt is expected to soon issue a notice seeking comment on how to proceed. EPA will accept comments on its proposed repeal through Jan. 16.