COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 3, 2002 - American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) issued a warning today to prospective viewers of the upcoming 20th Century Fox film titled “Like Mike.” The film, which opens today in theaters, depicts a scene involving a live electric line that is extremely hazardous and likely lethal.

“Our company and the entire electric utility industry are very concerned that unknowing viewers might take the scene literally and try to imitate it or believe that energized electric lines are not dangerous,” said Henry Fayne, AEP executive vice president.

The scene shows a child who becomes a super athlete after being struck by lightning while retrieving sneakers from a utility line.

“AEP’s print and electronic public safety advertising and safety outreach efforts stress the critical importance of adults and children staying away from underground and overhead power lines,” Fayne said. “We urge people to check with local authorities before they dig into the ground and to look up and check for overhead lines when working above ground or using ladders, for example.”

Edison Electric Institute, an association of shareholder-owned electric companies of which AEP is a member, has urged Fox senior management to run a message during the film that contact with power lines can cause serious burns or electrocution.

American Electric Power is a multinational energy company with a balanced portfolio of energy assets. AEP, the United States’ largest electricity generator, owns and operates more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. and select international markets. AEP is a leading wholesale energy marketer, ranking among North America’s top providers of wholesale power and natural gas with a growing wholesale presence in European markets. In addition to electricity generation, AEP owns and operates natural gas pipeline systems, natural gas storage, coal mines, and the fourth-largest inland barge company in the U.S. AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with almost 5 million customers linked to AEP’s wires. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.

Tom Ayres
Corporate Communications