American Electric Power
Currently the largest electricity generating utility in the United States, American Electric Power (AEP) releases 175,000,000 tons of CO2 per year. AEP gets 90.41% of its energy from fossil fuel and 0.79% from renewable sources other than hydro. AEP plans to increase its reliance on Fossil fuels in the future.
American Electric Power has made over $1 billion in profit in the first three quarters of 2010; the company profited over $4.8 billion from 2006-2009. The CEO of AEP, Michael G Morris, makes $5.63 milllion annually.
In 2009, then-current AEP CEO Michael Morris contributed [pdf] $100,000 to Newt Gingrich's American Solutions for Winning the Future, which supports increased oil drilling and opposes mandatory limits on greenhouse gas pollution.
AEP spent $44.5 million on federal lobbying from 2008-2012.
Almost $4 million in AEP donations have gone to politicians from the 2004 election cycle to the present. 70% of current AEP political recipients are Republicans, and most of the hightest Democrat beneficiaries are from coal-producing states.
Support for Front Groups
American Electric Power's is a member of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a publicity front group for the coal industry heavily embedded in the climate denial machine. ACCCE spent over $12 million on political lobbying from 2008-2010.
America Electric Power is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and part of ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture task force. Through ALEC, AEP works with state legislators to distribute anti-environmental model bills across the country that delay policy solutions to climate change, block clean energy, prevent EPA from regulating coal pollution, fasttrack coal mining projects and other dirty energy initiatives. AEP was one of several coal co-sponsors of ALEC's 2012 States & Nation Policy Summit (as were ACCCE and Edison Electric Institute, both of which AEP is member to).
Action against Climate Change Solutions:
The American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACESA) that passed in the U.S. House in 2009, which included many favors for the coal industry, was encouraged by tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to House members from AEP's political action committee.
AEP was the defendent in a lawsuit brought by a coalition of states, environmental groups and New York City against major emitters for their contributions to global warming. The suit, American Electric Power v Connecticut, was opposed by the Obama administration.
The Political Economy Research Institute ranks American Electric Power number 40 of the 100 greatest air polluters in the U.S.
In 2007, AEP paid the largest environmental settlement in Justice Department history for violating the Clean Air Act. On October 8, 2007, AEP agreed to install $4.6 billion in equipment to reduce emission, as well as pay a $15 million civil fine.