Don’t Let New York Drive Energy Policy for Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas
By JOHN TIDWELL , JOHN KAY & RYAN NORRIS
The Empire State should keep its wrong-headed, draconian, expensive emissions cuts to itself. Not content with fouling up its own energy policy, New York — with some of the country’s highest electricity rates — wants to foul up Arkansas’s, Louisiana’s, and Oklahoma’s, too.
New York state’s government-employee pension fund, run by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, owns a $100 million stake in American Electric Power (AEP), which provides electricity in the three other states mentioned above, our states. What the federal government wisely chooses not to do, activist shareholders like DiNapoli are trying to do instead.
DiNapoli drafted a shareholder resolution that would have compelled AEP to cut greenhouse-gas emissions in line with “reduction needs defined by the Paris Climate Agreement,” which President Trump has vowed to leave. But before this resolution was even brought to a vote, AEP caved to DiNapoli’s threat. So our electricity policy is now being set in deep-blue Albany.
Meeting DiNapoli’s demands won’t be easy. AEP has pledged to slash its greenhouse-gas emissions to 60 percent below 2000 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below the same levels by 2050. Emissions cuts of this magnitude are so steep that the parties to the Paris Agreement wouldn’t even agree to anything like them.