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Our  ability to make sustainable business decisions is enhanced by the relationships  we have with many different stakeholders, primarily our customers and  shareholders but also our other stakeholders. Our business has always depended  on the strength of our relationships, and this is so now more than ever before.

We seek to work closely with many stakeholders. Successful relationships require good faith, honesty and transparency about the reasons for our decisions. Our relationships with the environmental community were deeply strained in 2011 when we sharply disagreed about how new environmental regulations should be implemented.  We were accused of trying to circumvent or weaken the Clean Air Act, which was never our intent. We believe there is a strong case for extending the deadlines, both on economic and environmental grounds.

Some advocates felt blindsided by our lobbying efforts and felt we should have provided them with advance notice about our efforts, which we had done in the past on other issues. They chose to end discussions with us and turned to campaigning against us. We continue to reach out to them in the hope that we can reopen our dialogue. Despite the tumultuous year, we remain committed to engaging with our stakeholders and hope they feel the same way. We also heard from many customers who support our position as a way to help them avoid paying higher electric bills that they cannot afford.

Some advocates believe we violated their trust because we did not give them more advance notice of our lobbying strategy. They were especially unhappy about our decision to pursue both a legislative and more flexible regulatory outcome simultaneously. We believed, and still do, that we were acting in good faith and in the best interests of our customers and shareholders. We held or participated in a dozen stakeholder meetings or calls in 2011. While much of the focus was on environmental issues, we also discussed energy efficiency, coal, supply chain, climate change and water risk issues.

We have had a formal stakeholder engagement process for more than five years. In 2012, we will undertake a strategic planning process to plan for future engagement. This process will include revisiting our material issues and key performance indicators. We intend this to be a collaborative process internally and with external stakeholders.

  • For more data,, please see the Governance section of AEP’s Global Reporting Initiative G3 questionnaire.

AEP President Nick Akins participates in multiple activities during Energy Sustainability Week, including answering calls at the help desk.


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