In addition to having their rate increase settlement revoked by PUCO, having their stock tank, and their leader's baby tantrum causing a public relations disaster, a few other unsavory deeds of AEP greed have also surfaced in the news over the past couple of days. AEP's spin-meisters are probably spending the weekend digging a hole that they plan to jump into and pull in after themselves on Monday morning.
First, it was revealed that AEP had signed a contract to lease mineral rights it owns under reclaimed strip mining land in Ohio to Anadarko Petroleum, who plans to frack it up. The deal will net AEP about $15 million over the next seven years, plus royalty payments. The only hitch is that part of the mineral rights leased are underneath land AEP previously donated to the Columbus Zoo for use as a wildlife park, breeding ground and research center.
"Dale Schmidt, CEO of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, which operates the Wilds, said he wasn’t aware a lease had been signed."
Remember now, AEP is crying poor and threatening to lay off workers if it doesn't get its rate increase reinstated.
Meanwhile, it was revealed that an AEP adjuster in Charleston, WV, has bilked the company out of over half a million bucks by filing false "power surge damage" claims. Of course, it's not the company who ultimately would have paid these costs, remember all their costs get recovered from electric consumers. From what I've seen of power company accounting practices over the past couple of years, I'm surprised they even managed to figure it out. After all, what's a half million bucks between friends, right?
And just in case competitor FirstEnergy is getting a little too giddy about AEP's misfortune, PUCO reached out and slapped FirstEnergy down for their scheme to make a bundle of money off their plant closures in the state. In an order issued last week, PUCO required FE to re-think implementation of mandated energy efficiency and demand response programs in order to reduce expected rate increases caused by the plant closures. Caught, FE!
My, my, my, how far we've come from our "good buddy" days when these two greedy corporations thought they'd get together and run a 300 mile transmission line through the backyards of a bunch of ignorant hillbillies and get rich. It really sucks to be them. Heh.