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[greenyes] Fwd: Stunning GHG Proxy Vote at American Electric Power Co.

Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2003 17:03:24 -0400
Subject: Stunning Proxy Vote at AEP
From: Tim Brennan <brennan@no.address>
To: "Gary Liss" <gary@no.address>

Dear Gary

I thought you would be interested in hearing about a very promising development with this season's global warming shareholder campaign. As you know, last year's benchmarking report sponsored by NRDC, CERES and PG&E identified American Electric Power as the number one producer of greenhouse gasses in the US. This year CERES has been working to coordinate a shareholder campaign raising climate change as a risk factor for heavy emitting companies, with AEP as perhaps the most important company on the list.

This morning at AEP's annual meeting, the shareholder resolution received a stunning 27% of the vote over the objection of management. We believe this will send a strong message to the AEP board and top management that climate change can no longer be dismissed as a fringe social issue. As the article posted on the Wall Street Journal web site copied below says, climate change risk is now an issue of concern to major investors and their advisors.

We are grateful to everyone who worked on this campaign, but especially to the co-filers, Christian Brothers Investment Services and the Connecticut State Treasurer, Denise Nappier.

Let me know if you have any questions or would like more information.

Best regards,

Tim Brennan
Director of Development and Communications
CERES, Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies
99 Chauncy Street, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
Ph: (617) 247-0700 ext. 37
Fax: (617) 267-5400


April 23, 2003 12:52 p.m. EDT


AEP Investors Show Support
For Emissions-Cut Proposal

Resolution Is Rejected, but Draws
Surprising Backing From Holders



A resolution urging the country's biggest electric producer, American Electric Power Co., to do more to disclose and reduce its emissions of global-warming gases and several air pollutants won a surprising 26.9% of shareholder votes at the company's annual meeting Wednesday.

While that is far from a majority, it is one of the biggest showings so far for global-warming-related resolutions, which have been gaining steam during the past year. Last year, a global-warming-related resolution against Exxon Mobil Corp. turned heads when it garnered 20% of votes, up from 9% in 2001.

The resolution against AEP, filed by the Connecticut pension fund and Christian Brothers Investment Services Inc., asked the company do to more to disclose how its profitability could be hurt by the company's status as a major emitter. Because AEP is such a big electricity producer, and because it makes about 70% of its electricity in the U.S. from coal, it is one of the nation's biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, widely believed to contribute to global warming.

The extent of shareholder support for the AEP resolution -- despite the company's request that investors reject the measure -- suggested that mainstream institutional investors, and not just an environmentally focused fringe, voted for it. Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., an adviser to pension and mutual-fund managers, had recommended support for themeasure.

"It looks as if many of them followed the ISS proposal," a company spokesman said of AEP investors.

ISS's endorsement of last year's Exxon Mobil measure was similarly seen as instrumental in garnering support for that proposal.

AEP's management had urged shareholders to reject this year's proposal. The company said it already has done more than many other power producers to reduce its emissions. And, at a time when AEP has reduced its dividend because of disappointing results, the company argued that profits could be hit more if it went beyond federal requirements to further improve its environmental performance.

"The cost of compliance with regulations that are still in development could be substantial," AEP's chairman and chief executive, E. Linn Draper Jr., told shareholders at the annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. The company, which supplies electricity to 11 states in the Midwest and South, is in Columbus.

Donald A. Kirshbaum, investment officer with the Connecticut pension fund, said in comments at the meeting before the vote was tabulated that as a major emitter, AEP's stance on global warming was nationally important. "AEP is a very visible symbol of the electric utility industry and its actions are watched by many," he said.

Write to Jeffrey Ball at jeffrey.ball@no.address

URL for this article:


Updated April 23, 2003 12:52 p.m.

Copyright 2003 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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