The EPA has repeatedly said the regulations on coal-fired power plants will not be a death blow to the industry. However, the agency was working closely behind the scenes with the Sierra Club, an environmental organization that was pushing the agency to adopt standards that would be impossible for power plants to meet.
Many of the emails are between John Coequyt, head of the Sierra Club’s “beyond coal campaign,” and the EPA’s Michael Goo and Alex Barron, both in the agency’s office of policy at the time.
Coequyt warned Goo and Barron in one 2012 email that several proposed power plants on hiatus because of regulatory uncertainty could be built if the EPA set an achievable standard.
“Attached is a list of plants that companies said were shelved because of uncertainty around GHG [greenhouse gas] regulations,” Coequyt wrote to Goo and Barron. “If a standard is set that these plants could meet, there is a small chance that they [sic] company could decide to revive the proposal.”