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Climate Change: AEP Explains its Stand

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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:15 PM
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Climate Change: AEP Explains its Stand
Last Sunday, Michael G. Morris, chairman, president and chief executive officer of American Electric Power, offered his views about climate change in a column that appeared in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

AEP, the nation's biggest coal customer with purchases of 77 million tons a year, no longer is arguing about the science of climate change. Its executives have made a decision, one they must believe will protect their company, its shareholders and customers. He described his company's position in clear terms:

1. The United States will take some sort of action with respect to climate change, either through congressional legislation or through the administrative actions of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

2. The better choice is Congress.

"Climate action is inevitable," Morris wrote. "The only choice is whether to encourage the Senate to pass comprehensive, well-crafted climate legislation or to wait for the EPA to enact regulations under the Clean Air Act."

Morris argues that Congress, while shaping the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, will provide some protection to electric customers and the economy. The House of Representatives has sent the legislation -- known as the Waxman-Markey bill -- to the Senate, and Morris believes the Senate can improve the act by expanding economic protections.

He said EPA, on the other hand, would follow a more rigid enforcement strategy under the Clean Air Act of 1990, giving little if any consideration to the effect of enforcement on jobs or power rates.
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