AEP CEO troubled about U.S. debt deadline; impact on power sector

American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) CEO Nicholas Akins finds it “unfathomable” that the United States is apparently so close to budget chaos and says a potential federal default would have major implications for the power sector.

“This industry spends over $90 billion a year” and is very sensitive to the cost of credit, Akins told Bloomberg Television’s ‘Street Smart’ program Oct. 8.

“It’s unfathomable that we are actually getting to this point; and for those of us who are heavily capital intensive we are very focused on debt and the cost of debt,” Akins said.

“We have to be concerned about our ability to acquire debt and the cost of that debt,” Akins said.

When asked by the interviewers what advice he would give Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Akins said: “For the sake of the country get together and get together soon.”

“The brinksmanship that’s occurring” is bad for the national economy in part because large industries need “stability,” Akins said.

With the U.S. government in the second week of a shutdown, the U.S. Congress is looking at an Oct. 17 deadline to increase the nation’s borrowing power or risk default.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.