Owners of an Eastern Kentucky coal-fired power plant would rather shut its doors than comply with new Environmental Protection Agency regulations, according to Kentucky Power President Greg Pauley.

"I have to look for what's appropriate," Pauley said. "Not only for the operating of the plant, but I have to consider the 173,000 customers that we serve in Eastern Kentucky."

Pauley had faced criticism for his decision earlier in October to shut down the plant by opponents claiming he had not looked into the full financial effects of shuttering the coal-fired part of the Big Sandy Power Plant.

"To be critical of the vetting of those numbers is not accurate because they were," Pauley said.

Closing the plant affects more than 80 workers, but many have already found new work.

Big Sandy is one of the 207 coal plants slated for shutdown in the next decade. The closure will come at a loss of over 1,000 megawatts of electricity.