3/18/2003

Environmental stewardship part of business at AEP

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 18, 2003 - Saving a Bolivian rainforest, enhancing the habitat of 400,000 migratory waterfowl, and helping safeguard the giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands might not be activities normally associated with a Midwest-based electric utility company, but they are just some of the actions American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) has undertaken as part of its corporate commitment to environmental stewardship.

A new publication from AEP details these and other voluntary efforts by the company to help minimize the impact its business has on the global environment. “AEP is deeply committed to protecting the environment. We strive to be a leader not only in places where we do business but also in parts of the world where it produces clear environmental benefits-not just because it may make good business sense, but because it is the right thing to do,” said E Linn Draper Jr., AEP’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Projects highlighted in the publication, Environmental Stewardship in Action, include AEP’s voluntary efforts to reduce, avoid and sequester greenhouse gases. AEP recently committed to cap its greenhouse gas emissions at the average of 1998-2001 levels and reduce them by one percent per year for the next four years as the only U.S. electric utility among the founding members of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the first U.S. voluntary cap and trade program for greenhouse gas emissions.

Internationally, AEP has partnered with The Nature Conservancy and other energy companies in forest carbon sequestration projects that will protect 4.2 million acres of Bolivian rainforest and restore another 20,000 acres of sub-tropical Brazilian forest that had been cleared for water buffalo ranching. AEP also is leading a program with the non-profit e7 Alliance, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Foundation, World Wildlife Fund and others to install wind turbines and advanced battery systems to replace diesel-powered generators on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos Archipelago. The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while helping safeguard the island’s giant tortoises and marine iguanas from the threat of diesel-fuel tanker spills.

Domestically, AEP joined forces with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Conservation Fund in a carbon sequestration project that will restore 10,000 acres of native bottomland hardwood trees near the Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana, home to more than 400,000 waterfowl during the peak migratory season. AEP also has planted more than 60 million trees on its own property over the last 50 years.

Environmental Stewardship in Action also explains AEP’s unique environmental education programs, including workshops, solar panel installations and even rain forest excursions, all designed to help the public understand the challenges and environmental impact of each kind of electricity generation currently available.

“As a global energy company, AEP is proud of its continuing commitment to provide affordable, safe, reliable energy. At the same time, we work diligently in our daily operations to strike the balance between meeting current needs without compromising the needs of future generations. Our environmental initiatives go beyond what is required by law to help address the environmental challenges our society faces,” Draper explained.

For more information about AEP’s environmental performance or to download a copy of Environmental Stewardship in Action, visit www.AEP.com/environmental. To request a printed copy of the publication, call Rita Romine at 614-716-1281.

American Electric Power owns and operates more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States and select international markets and is the largest electricity generator in the U.S. AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with almost 5 million customers linked to AEP’s 11-state electricity transmission and distribution grid. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.

Melissa McHenry
Manager, Corporate Media Relations
American Electric Power
614/716-1120
877/380-1211 (Pager)

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