Who’s Bankrolling AEP, the Coal Company Lobbying for More Coal?


Coal moneyAmerican Electric Power Company, more commonly known as AEP, has been in the news lately. The banks providing funds to this dirty energy purveyor haven’t received as much scrutiny, however. Let’s fix that, shall we?

Earlier this month, AEP announced that upcoming EPA clean air regulations (which have now been announced) may mean that the company will need to close 25% of their coal fleet. This proclamation was of course meant to scare legislators into taking the EPA’s power to enforce the Clean Air Act away. Then news broke that AEP is putting its money where its mouth is — lots of money.  AEP spent a reported $2 million lobbying in the 1st quarter of 2011. $2 million in just 3 months!!!

The New York Times responded to AEP  in an editorial blasting the company for misleading the public about impacts of EPA regulations, bullying the agency, and failing to address real concerns about its aging coal fleet. The EPA also responded during a US Senate hearing by clarifying that most of AEP’s plant closures won’t be because of the EPA, they will be because AEP’s fleet is too old to compete in energy markets.

Over the past month, AEP has demonstrated that it is a coal company that is willing to lie to the public and spend millions to influence politicians and erode the ability of democratic institutions such as the EPA that were created to ensure clean air and water for all Americans. Which leads me to wonder, which banks are behind AEP?

A quick look at AEP’s financing shows that in the past 2 years (since June 2009) several banks have provided large sums of money in the form of bond underwriting to AEP. Some of the most interesting include*:

  • Barclays Bank provided $300 million
  • UBS provided $190 million
  • Morgan Stanley provided $175 million
  • Citi and JP Morgan Chase each provided $87.5 million
  • Wells Fargo and Credit Suisse each provided $75 million

All of these banks should cut ties with AEP. Financing a company like AEP that undermines democracy and burns climate-killing coal is irresponsible at best.

* All research is sourced from Bloomberg