Despite record profits of $1.9 billion last year, American Electric Power (AEP) wants customers to pay for "cleanup costs" of the recent storms that left half a million people without power. AEP Ohio already did this, to the tune of $25 million in 2004 and another $27 million in 2008, but has failed to act on their own internal recommendations to modernize aging equipment.
I started this petition because my grandma lives in Ohio on a fixed income, and it's unconscionable that a CEO who made $8.65 million last year would ask her to pay for his mistakes. What's even more outrageous is that AEP Ohio knew they needed to replace old lines and poles and clearly had the cash to make it happen, or bury power lines as customers have been asking them to for years. The "cleanup costs" passed on to customers from 2004, 2008, and 2012 combined are less than 4% of AEP Ohio's profits for 2011 alone!
AEP plans to ask the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to let them pass these costs on to you. But they haven't asked yet - so please join me and my grandma in telling both AEP and the PUCO that Ohio residents will not pay for their mistakes. We can't expect AEP to change the weather, but we can expect them to prepare for it - just like we all do when we know a storm is coming - and to put people before profits.
Tell AEP executives Michael G. Morris and Nicholas K. Akins that Ohioans won't stand for corporate greed disguised as disaster cleanup, and tell the PUCO not to let them get away with it for the third time in eight years.
P.S. - If you'd like to tell these people how you feel, here's who to call:
* AEP Director of Public Policy, Terri Flora @ (614) 883-7999
* PUCO Chairman, Todd Snitchler @ (800) 686-7826
* Senate Public Utilities Committee Chair, Shannon Jones @ (614) 466-9737
* House Public Utilities Committee Chair, Peter Stautberg @ (614) 644-6886
* AEP executives Michael Morris, Nicholas Atkins, and Terri Flora: Don't submit the application requesting the PUCO to let you pass on "cleanup costs" of the recent storm to customers after making record profits of $1.9 billion last year. This would be greedy, deceptive and unfair - and it would make me want to do business with a different power company that I can trust and respect.
* PUCO Chairman and Commissioners: If AEP Ohio does apply, reject their application outright. Their failure to plan for sever weather is not their customers' fault or responsibility. It is, however, your responsibility to "assure Ohioans adequate, safe, and reliable public utility services at a fair price."
* Ohio Elected Officials: Use your oversight powers - the ones you were elected to use on behalf of constituents - to ensure the PUCO acts in the best interests of Ohioans and rejects the application. I'm watching to see what happens, and I'll remember in November.
The "cleanup costs" passed on to customers from 2004, 2008, and 2012 combined are less than 15% of AEP Ohio's profits for 2011 alone. Only bad business planning and practices could explain asking customers to bear the cleanup costs.
I don't expect anyone to change the weather, but I do expect you to prepare for it and respond accordingly - just like my family and I do when we know a storm is coming. AEP customers and your constituents won't stand for corporate greed disguised as disaster cleanup, and we won' t let our Public Utilities Commission help you, and we won't forget about it if our elected officials fail to act in our interests.
Do the right thing - make AEP pay to clean up its own mess.