The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the public comment period for its proposed rule to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants by 45 days.

Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, today told reporters in a press call that the EPA’s comment period for its Clean Power Plan will be extended from its mid-October deadline. It will now close on Dec. 1.

The agency has received more than 3.5 million comments on the proposal so far, McCabe said. The extension isn’t expected to affect the rule’s finalization that is anticipated in June 2015.

“We want the best rule possible and we want to give people the best amount of time to get us all their ideas so we can consider them,” she said.

A number of states and industry stakeholders had protested the rule’s brief public comment period. Texas Public Utility Commissioner Kenneth Anderson Jr. and Montana Public Service Commissioner Travis Kavulla last week, for example, told a panel at the U.S. House Energy and Power Subcommittee that the mid-October comment deadline wasn’t enough to evaluate the 600-page proposal released on June 2.

Sonal Patel, associate editor (@POWERmagazine, @sonalcpatel)