American Electric Power

InfluenceMap Score
D
Performance Band
45%
Organisation Score
56%
Relationship Score
Modifications to InfluenceMap Scoring
Sector:
Utilities
Head​quarters:
Columbus, United States
Brands and Associated Companies
Southwestern Electric Power Company, Appalachian Power, AEP, Indiana Michigan Power

Climate Lobbying Overview: American Electric Power (AEP) is generally lobbying against US policy on climate change. The utility appears to support a clean energy transition, but in recent years has lobbied negatively on specific climate policies to transition the energy mix.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: While AEP appears to accept the science of climate change, it does not offer a clear position on the need for IPCC demanded emissions reductions, as demonstrated in its 2018 Strategic Vision for a Clean Energy Future report. AEP endorsed an “economy-wide legislative approach” to address carbon in a 2019 report but, in 2018, emphasized the need for a “rational” approach at the federal level which must account for regional differences in the US to avoid economic harm. AEP does not appear to have disclosed a position on the Paris Agreement in recent years.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: AEP has mixed engagement with climate legislation and regulation. In 2019, a spokesperson for AEP noted a preference for emissions trading over a carbon tax, a position it has maintained in its CDP responses. While previous communications in 2016 commend the benefits of early energy efficiency standards, AEP’s 2020 Corporate Accountability report cautions against new, more stringent energy efficiency standards, such as new standards for lighting and other appliances. The utility has repeatedly expressed concerns in recent CDP responses around the adverse impacts of energy efficiency legislation.

AEP supported legislation that challenged distributive renewable energy measures in Ohio in 2018 and reiterated its opposition to net metering policies in a 2019 report. The utility actively opposed the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP) through 2018, including through legal action in 2017. AEP advocated for the repeal of the CPP in 2018 and, shortly after, supported its replacement with the Trump administration’s Affordable Clean Energy rule. Its 2020 CDP response maintains a preference for a cap and trade policy rather than regulation to reduce emissions through the Clean Air Act.

Positioning on Energy Transition: AEP offers general support for a clean energy transition, emphasizing the falling costs of alternative technologies. However, in 2019, American Electric Power backed legislation in Ohio to bail out struggling coal plants and boost nuclear energy while rolling back the state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy targets. AEP demonstrates clear support for the electrification of transport, including through specific policies such as Ohio’s 2020 tax credit for the purchase of electric vehicles and charging stations.

Industry Association Governance: AEP publishes a list of its industry association memberships, but has not published a review of its alignment with these groups or disclosed any details of its attempts to influence their positions. The utility left the American Legislative Exchange Council in 2016 and America’s Power in 2019, two organizations that are highly oppositional to progressive climate policy. However, it remains a member of the National Association of Manufacturers and US Chamber of Commerce, both of which share a history of strategic opposition to climate policy. It is also a member of Business Roundtable, which has begun to demonstrate a shift from mixed positions to a nominally positive stance on climate.

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
Main Web Site Social Media CDP Responses Legislative Consultations Media Reports CEO Messaging Financial Disclosures
Communication of Climate Science
0 NS NS NS NS NS 1
Alignment with IPCC on Climate Action
0 0 NA NS NS NS NS
Supporting the Need for Regulations
0 NS NS NS NS 0 NS
Support of UN Climate Process
0 1 NS NS 1 1 NS
Transparency on Legislation
-1 NA 0 NA NA NA NS
Carbon Tax
NS NS -2 NS -1 NS NS
Emissions Trading
NS NS 1 -1 0 NS NS
Energy and Resource Efficiency
-1 NS 0 -2 2 NS NS
Renewable Energy
0 NS 0 1 -2 NS -2
Energy Transition & Zero Carbon Technologies
2 0 0 NS 0 0 1
GHG Emission Regulation
-1 0 -1 -2 -1 0 0
Disclosure on Relationships
0 NA 1 NA NA NA NS
Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
93%
 
93%
 
52%
 
52%
 
41%
 
41%
 
51%
 
51%
 
26%
 
26%
 
67%
 
67%
 
27%
 
27%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.