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N.Y. State Common withdraws shareholder request after AEP sets greenhouse gas reduction targets

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli

American Electric Power will adopt long-term targets for reducing greenhouses gases, said Thomas P. DiNapoli, the sole trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, in an announcement Friday.

As a result, the $201.3 billion pension fund has withdrawn a shareholder request seeking such a commitment, said Mr. DiNapoli, who is also the state comptroller, in a news release.

"The utilities sector should pay close attention to AEP's commitment to decarbonize its operations," Mr. DiNapoli said. "Despite President Trump's plan to rescind the Clean Power Plan, corporations know a transition to a lower carbon economy is not just inevitable, it's already underway."

The pension fund owned 1.35 million shares of AEP stock worth $99.53 million at year-end 2017, said Matthew Sweeney, a spokesman for Mr. DiNapoli, in an email.

Mr. DiNapoli referenced a Feb. 6 announcement by AEP establishing goals of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Using 2000 emissions has a base, an AEP report called for a 60% reduction by 2030 and an 80% reduction by 2050.

"AEP is focused on modernizing the power grid, expanding renewable energy resources and delivering cost-effective, reliable energy to our customers," said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP's chairman, president and CEO, in a Tuesday news release.