Climate Change & The Environment
As one of the largest electric utilities in the United States and a large user of fossil fuels, we strive to reduce the environmental impact of our operations while providing reliable, reasonably priced electricity for our customers. We believe climate change is a global issue that requires a global solution and cannot be effectively addressed through the piecemeal adoption of performance standards for specific industries.
In 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) announced proposed regulations designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal-fueled power plants. We believe those proposals have significant flaws, and we have provided extensive comments to U.S. EPA.
As we participate in discussions concerning the proposals, we will work to ensure that regulations addressing climate change account for the current state of emissions-reducing technologies. We also will strive to ensure the regulations consider the significant emission reductions already achieved through the transition of our nation’s electricity generation fleet.
How We're Addressing Climate Change Policy
Between 1998 and 2013, AEP reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 33 percent (see graph below). We expect emissions to continue declining in the coming years as we use less coal and increase our use of natural gas to generate electricity. The remainder of our generating capacity will consist of nuclear, hydro and renewables, and we will use energy efficiency and demand response programs to help our customers manage their energy use.
We’ve also proactively supported a number of climate change public policy initiatives and have made significant investments in clean-coal technologies, including advancing the world’s first integrated carbon dioxide capture and storage project. We continue to investigate technologies that can supply affordable and reliable electricity while reducing the environmental impact of the power generation process. We also are expanding our transmission infrastructure to allow greater integration of renewable and other intermittent, non-emitting resources on the grid.
For more detailed information, refer to the Climate Change discussion in our Corporate Accountability Report.