COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) is one of more than 85 international companies and organizations who signed a statement released today that proposes a post-Kyoto framework for addressing global climate change. "The Path to Climate Change Sustainability: A Joint Statement by the Global Roundtable on Climate Change" puts forth principles for creating an effective global approach to climate policy.
"AEP has been actively engaged in efforts aimed at successfully addressing global climate change since the early 1990s," said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. "As we support the effort to develop a well-thought-out approach to carbon controls in the United States, we must remember that global warming is a global issue that will require a global solution. The joint statement of the Global Roundtable on Climate Change outlines the core aspects of a realistic global policy on climate change that will be critical for effectively stabilizing atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide while meeting the global need for energy, economic growth and sustainable development."
Key principles in "The Path to Climate Change Sustainability" include: involving all significant sectors of the economy, including all major emitters of greenhouse gases, developing market-based emission reduction mechanisms with incentives for early action, and supporting energy efficiency and deployment of clean coal and carbon capture and storage technologies.
Signing the joint statement also includes a commitment from AEP to continue its efforts to reduce and offset its greenhouse gas emissions, advance technology and work to increase public and industry understanding of both the risks of climate change and potential solutions.
AEP has led the U.S. electric utility industry in taking action to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. AEP was the first and largest U.S. utility to join the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the world's first and North America's only voluntary, legally binding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction and trading program. As a member of CCX, AEP committed to gradually reduce, avoid or sequester its GHG emissions to 6 percent below the average of its 1998 to 2001 emission levels by 2010. Through this commitment, AEP will reduce or offset approximately 46 million metric tons of GHG emissions by the end of the decade.
AEP is achieving its GHG reductions through a broad portfolio of actions, including power plant efficiency improvements, renewable generation such as wind and biomass co-firing, off-system GHG reduction projects, reforestation projects and the potential purchase of emission credits through CCX.
AEP has already made efficiency improvements to its current generating fleet, retired inefficient generation, enhanced the performance of its nuclear generation and expanded its use of renewable generation. The company is one of the larger generators and distributors of wind energy in the United States, operating 310 megawatts (MW) of wind generation in Texas and purchasing an additional 373 MW of wind generation from wind facilities in Oklahoma and Texas. AEP also has invested more than $25 million in terrestrial sequestration projects designed to conserve and reforest sensitive areas and offset more than 20 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) over the next 40 years.
Going forward, AEP is focused on developing and deploying new technology that will reduce the GHG emissions of future coal-fueled power plants. In August 2004, AEP was the first electric utility to announce plans to scale up Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) technology to build baseload, coal-fueled power plants with less environmental impact. AEP has initiated the regulatory approval process in Ohio and West Virginia to build one large, commercial-scale (629-MW) IGCC plant in each state. Both plants would be designed to accommodate retrofit of technology to capture CO2 emissions.
A strong supporter of research to address GHG emissions from coal-fueled power generation, AEP is a member of the FutureGen Alliance, which, in conjunction with the Department of Energy, will build the world's first nearly emission-free plant to produce electricity and hydrogen from coal while capturing and permanently storing CO2 in geologic formations.
Additionally, AEP's Mountaineer Plant in New Haven, W.Va., is the site of a $4.2 million carbon sequestration research project through which scientists from Battelle Memorial Institute are seeking to better understand the capability of deep saline aquifers for permanent and ecologically safe storage of carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
AEP is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation's largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 36,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP's utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.
MEDIA CONTACT: Melissa McHenry Manager, Corporate Media Relations 614/716-1120
Source: American Electric Power
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