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AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER, U.S. ENERGY DEPARTMENT TO SEEK VOLUNTARY GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTIONS

 COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), one of the nation's largest coal-burning utilities, has agreed to join the U.S. Department of Energy in efforts to establish voluntary programs to limit emissions of greenhouse gases.
 President Clinton has pledged that the United States will reduce greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000. The electric utility industry, through the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), will explore environmental measures, energy efficiency, energy conservation and other strategies to help meet that goal.
 Today, AEP Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, E. Linn Draper Jr., said in a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary that AEP will cooperate with her office, other utilities and EEI to formulate a voluntary framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
 "This is the first step in establishing a working partnership with the Department of Energy on this issue," Draper said. "We believe it can lead to identifying cost-effective and flexible programs for limiting future greenhouse gas emissions."
 Some scientists believe that increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could affect the global climate. The United States is leading worldwide research on monitoring greenhouse gas levels and determining their effect on the global climate.
 Through EEI, the U.S. electric utility industry can work with Sec. O'Leary to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions while recognizing each utility's individual growth requirements and mix of fuels, Draper said. Nearly 90 percent of the AEP System's power generation requirements are met by coal combustion, a source of carbon dioxide emissions.
 In his letter today, Draper said that AEP's participation in the voluntary effort "should not have an adverse effect on the company's competitive position with respect to rates and costs, or be unacceptable to its regulators."
 Under this commitment, AEP and other electric utility companies will work with the Energy Department to establish an accurate baseline of greenhouse gas emissions.
 Secondly, the group will discuss measures to reduce greenhouse gases through a flexible combination of strategies, including: fuel switching, power plant efficiency, forest management, tree planting, renewable energy sources, methane recovery, cogeneration of electricity and the capture and recovery of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
 The parties will also take into account the contribution of electrical technologies toward reducing greenhouse gases, as well as the benefits from environmental projects undertaken by U.S. companies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in other countries.
 "AEP has already embraced many of these concepts in programs to improve our energy efficiency and to promote wise energy use by our customer," Draper said. "We have had active forest management and tree planting programs for decades. Also, we recently joined the U.S. EPA's Green Lights program, which is designed to benefit the environment through encouraging the use of high-efficiency lighting.
 "The voluntary framework of this new effort on greenhouse gases gives us the chance to develop these programs and use our technical skills in a spirit of cooperation with the Administration," Draper said. "I firmly believe many other utilities will join this effort and contribute to its success."
 The AEP System's seven operating companies serve seven million people in seven east-central states: Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee.
 -0- 8/12/93
 /CONTACT: Luke M. Feck, senior vice president, public affair, AEP, 614-223-1650/
 (AEP)


CO: American Electric Power ST: Ohio IN: UTI SU:

LC -- CL019 -- 2269 08/12/93 16:37 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 12, 1993
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