COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 19, 2009 – Michael G. Morris, American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) chairman, president and chief executive officer, will be joined by oil and gas industry veteran T. Boone Pickens for a town hall meeting to discuss the need to modernize and expand the electricity grid, tap into alternative energy sources and reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
The 90-minute meeting will begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, 400 N. High St., Columbus. It is free and open to the public.
Last month, AEP signed on as a corporate sponsor of Pickens’ energy plan, which calls for reducing dependence on foreign oil, expanding the use of renewable energy, constructing a new 21st-century power grid, increasing energy conservation and efficiency initiatives, and shifting heavy-duty fleet vehicles to natural gas to offset foreign oil, diesel and gasoline use. Pickens will outline his plan during the town hall meeting and talk about the role it can play in the economic recovery of Ohio and the nation.
The Pickens Plan also proposes to generate up to 22 percent of the nation’s electricity from wind and supports development of an extra-high voltage transmission system to facilitate expanded use of renewable electricity generation. AEP has advocated development of an extra-high voltage transmission superhighway to efficiently transport electricity since 2006. The company has proposed more than 2,600 miles of 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission projects to enhance the grid, including a 1,000-mile line that would link the wind-rich Upper Midwest with the population-rich East Coast.
“If we want to transform our country’s energy profile, we need a transmission system capable of moving renewable energy from where it is most abundant and viable to our population and electricity load centers,” Morris said. “Boone Pickens and the 1.5 million Americans who have joined him in support of the Pickens Plan recognize the importance of a well-designed, reliable national transmission grid that will allow us to develop renewable energy resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and introduce competition for liquid transportation fuels.”
“A new state-of-the-art power grid supports our goal to tap domestic energy resources, reduce our economically devastating dependence on foreign oil and improve the environment,” Pickens said. “We hope the public will join us in these important conversations about the future of our nation and the economic growth that will be possible when we stop sending billions of dollars each year to other countries for energy that we can produce here in the United States.”
About The Pickens Plan
Unveiled July 8, 2008, by T. Boone Pickens, the Pickens Plan is a detailed solution for ending the United States’ growing dependence on foreign oil. When oil prices reached $140/barrel, America was spending about $700 billion for foreign oil, equaling the greatest transfer of wealth in human history. That figure has decreased some while oil prices have retreated, but the U.S. is still dependent on foreign nations for nearly 70 percent of its oil, representing a continuing national economic and security threat. The plan calls for investing in power generation from domestic renewable resources such as wind and using our abundant supplies of natural gas as a transportation fuel, replacing more than one-third of our imported oil. More than 1.5 million people have joined the Pickens Army through the Web site www.pickensplan.com
, which has had over 14 million hits. For more information on the Pickens Plan, visit their Web site.
About American Electric Power
American Electric Power 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 38,000 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 transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. 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). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.