5/31/2001

AEP DEDICATES MINERS’ MEMORIAL

COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 31, 2001 - American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) formally dedicated its Miners’ Memorial Park, honoring the men and women who mined coal in southeastern Ohio.

More than 250 people heard comments from representatives of AEP, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) during ceremonies Wednesday at the park site near McConnelsville.

“After more than a half century of mining coal, Central Ohio Coal Co.’s scorecard is an impressive one,” said E. Linn Draper, AEP chairman, president and CEO. “The men and women who worked here moved more than 2.5 billion cubic yards of earth - 10 times more than was excavated for the construction of the Panama Canal - while mining more than 132 million tons of coal for the generation of electric power.

“The Miners’ Memorial Park we are dedicating today honors these men and women. There is no more fitting tribute to these individuals than a memorial located on land that has been surface mined and beautifully reclaimed - a memorial that is anchored by an historic piece of mining equipment, the bucket from Big Muskie.

“We dedicate this memorial park today because we want to remember how remarkable this mining operation truly was and the many firsts that were achieved here. We dedicate this memorial park today because we want to commend these 1,500 men and women and recognize the contributions they’ve made to our company and to this region. This Miners’ Memorial Park will serve as a monument to what the men and women of AEP and Central Ohio Coal created and achieved throughout more than a half a century of service.”

AEP announced in 1999 that Big Muskie - which moved more than 483 million tons of rock and earth between 1969 and 1991 - would be dismantled, and the 220-cubic-yard, 240-ton bucket from the world’s largest walking dragline would be the focal point of the memorial park.

Another highlight of the memorial is the “Wall of Honor,” which lists the names of employees of Central Ohio Coal Co., the AEP subsidiary that operated Big Muskie.

“As I look at all the names listed on the Wall of Honor, I’m filled with a sense of awe,” said Gary Dimmerling, general manager of Central Ohio Coal Co. “They are a hard-working group, facing challenges head-on and turning them into opportunities. Working together over the years as a team, watching out for one another, often laboring under severe conditions, but always getting the job done safely and efficiently. A common thread … was always the talented employees. True professionals, I’m proud to have had the opportunity to work with such an outstanding group. I salute them all.”

Harold “Babe” Erdos, UMWA International representative for District 6, commended the miners and AEP.

“This has been one of the best local unions that we’ve had in this area,” Erdos said. “Never have we not been able to resolve our differences and continue our relationship.”

ODNR Director Sam Speck commented on the role of coal mining in southeastern Ohio and cited ODNR’s partnership with AEP.

“This park honors those who worked in the coal industry so that the rest of us can have heat and light and other conveniences we take for granted,” Speck said. “Coal was indeed the focus of life for families in this region of the state. This memorial tells a story as it says thanks to the people who did this work. We’re grateful for the commitment by AEP to maintain its ReCreation Land - we’ve had a great partnership in terms of forestry, wildlife habitat and recreation.”

The Miners’ Memorial Park site in AEP’s ReCreation Land was surfaced mined for coal in the 1950s. ReCreation Land was reclaimed through the planting of more than 47 million trees. The park site, formally the R.V. Crews Memorial Campsite, was selected because ReCreation Land captures AEP’s surface mining history and is an outstanding symbol of the company’s environmental stewardship. ReCreation Land is a 30,000-acre public recreational area in Morgan County. The area features more than 350 stocked lakes and ponds and nearly 380 campsites available free of charge to the public for hunting, fishing, camping and horseback riding. The area is operated in cooperation with ODNR and is one of the largest public recreational areas in Ohio. More than 100,000 visitors use ReCreation Land each year.

Miners’ Memorial Park is located along state Route 78, approximately nine miles east of McConnelsville.

American Electric Power is a multinational energy company based in Columbus, Ohio. AEP owns and operates more than 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity, making it one of America’s largest generators of electricity. The company is also a leading wholesale energy marketer and trader, ranking second in the U.S. in electricity volume. AEP provides retail electricity to more than 7 million customers worldwide and has more than $45 billion in assets, primarily in the U.S. with holdings in select international markets. Wholly owned subsidiaries are involved in power engineering and construction services, energy management and telecommunications.

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Vikki Michalski
Communications Consultant
American Electric Power
614/416-3926
Pager: 614/730-9012

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