Entergy

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Entergy Corporation
Type Public (NYSEETR)
Headquarters 639 Loyola Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70113
Area served AR, LA, MS, TX
Key people J. Wayne Leonard, CEO
Industry Electric Producer and Utility
Products Electricity
Revenue $11.48 billion (2007)[1]
Net income $1.13 billion (2007)[1]
Employees 14,185 (2007)
Subsidiaries Entergy Arkansas
Entergy Gulf States Louisiana
Entergy New Orleans
Entergy Louisiana
Entergy Mississippi
Entergy Texas
Entergy Nuclear
Entergy Solutions
Entergy Thermal
Website Entergy.com

Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power productions and retail distribution operations. A member of the Fortune 500, Entergy, headquartered in New Orleans, owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.[2]

In 2001, Entergy formed a partnership with Koch Industries to form Entergy- Koch, LP.[3]

History

Prior to naming itself "Entergy" in May 1989 -- a name the company describes as "a composite of the words 'enterprise,' 'energy' and 'synergy'" -- the company had done business as the Arkansas Light and Power Company, Mississippi Power and Light Company, Louisiana Power Company, Electric Power and Light Corporation, and Middle South Utilities, Inc.[4]

Support for the American Legislative Exchange Council

Entergy was a "Vice-Chairman" level sponsor of 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council Annual Conference, which in 2010, equated to $25,000.[5] Entergy was also a sponsor of the Louisiana Welcome Reception at the 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting.[6]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.

CEO compensation

In May 2007, Forbes listed Entergy CEO J. Wayne Leonard as receiving $8.5 million in total compensation for the latest fiscal year, with a five-year total compensation of $40.06 million. He ranked 11th on the list of CEOs in the Utilities industry, and 206th among all CEOs in the United States.[7]

Power portfolio

Out of its total 32,854 MW of electric generating capacity in 2005 (3.08% of the U.S. total), Entergy produces 56.5% from natural gas, 30.1% from nuclear, 12.3% from coal, 0.8% from oil, and 0.4% from hydroelectricity. Entergy owns power plants in Arkansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, Texas, and Vermont; 40.9% of the company's generating capacity is in Louisiana, and 23.2% is in Arkansas.[8]

Entergy CEO acknowledges climate change as the biggest issue for the power industry

At Entergy's annual meeting in May 2009, CEO J. Wayne Leonard told shareholders that global warming is the most important challenge for his industry and "possibly the biggest risk the world has ever faced." Leonard went on to say that the costs of climate change are much greater than the costs of acting to prevent it, and that taking only small steps will do nothing to avoid catastrophe. However, Leonard also argued against wind power and other renewable energy sources as the correct path of action, instead insisting that the only viable course is to retrofit existing coal plants with carbon capture and storage capabilities. "The U.S. cannot afford to shut down its existing coal plants, and China cannot afford to stop building coal plants. There is only one solution, and that is to fix what we have," he said.[9]

Companies

Companies within the Entergy corporate structure include: [2]

  • Entergy Arkansas
  • Entergy New Orleans
  • Entergy Louisiana
  • Entergy Mississippi
  • Entergy Texas
  • Entergy Nuclear

Entergy Nuclear

Entergy owns and operates 11 nuclear power units located on nine different sites: [3]

  • Arkansas Nuclear One Unit One and Unit Two - Russellville, Arkansas
  • Grand Gulf Nuclear Station - Port Gibson, Mississippi
  • River Bend - St. Francisville, Louisiana
  • Waterford 3 - Taft, Louisiana
  • Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station - Plymouth, Massachusetts
  • James A. FitzPatrick - Oswego, New York
  • Indian Point Energy Center Unit Two and Unit Three - Buchanan, New York
  • Vermont Yankee - Vernon, Vermont.
  • Palisades, Covert, Michigan

It also operates the Cooper nuclear power station in Brownville, Nebraska. This station is "owned by Nebraska Public Power District and operated by a management team from Entergy Nuclear under a long-term agreement." [10]

The company won a license extension for its Arkansas Nuclear One Unit One plant in 2001, allowing the plant to operate until 2034. The company's license renewal applications for its Vermont Yankee and Pilgrim nuclear plants are pending, as of February 2007. [4]

Radioactive Water Leak in Lake Michigan

In May 2013, 79 gallons of diluted radioactive water were released into Lake Michigan from Entergy-owned Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in Covert Township, Michigan.[11] The water leaked from a 300,000-gallon storage tank down a drain and into a basin.[11] The plant shut down after the tank was declared inoperable.

Prior to the Lake Michigan incident, a leak in the safety injection refueling water tank increased from one gallon a day to 90 gallons, surpassing the 38-gallon threshold set by the plant and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2012.[11] After finding a small crack along a nozzle weld at the bottom of the tank, Palisades officials have decided to completely replace the tank bottom while the plant remains closed.[12] Leaks have been an ongoing issue at Palisades, which shut down four times in 2012 and twice so far in 2013.[11]

Spin-off plans

In November 2007, Reuters reported that Entergy was planning to "spin off five nuclear plants into a new company in a bid to capitalize on the greenhouse-gas-friendly technology." The new company would be "50 percent owned by Entergy," would have $4.5 billion in debt, and would include "the Pilgrim station in Plymouth, Massachusetts; the Fitzpatrick and Indian Point plants in Oswego and Buchanan, New York; the Palisade plant in Covert, Michigan; and the Vermont Yankee plant in Vernon, Vermont." [13]

The Entergy nuclear spin-off would be "the nation's first stand-alone, publicly traded nuclear-energy company," reported the Wall Street Journal. According to Entergy's CEO, the spin-off would "take assets for which it paid about $2 billion and put them in a new company with a market value approaching $20 billion." In addition, "As an unregulated, standalone company, the new company could carry a higher debt ratio." [14]

The plants owned by the spin-off might enjoy increased profit margins, according to the Wall Street Journal. "Entergy, Exelon and other consolidators have increased the productivity of nuclear plants, and they are able to collect rising prices in deregulated markets as supply margins shrink, including new 'capacity' payments in organized Northeast markets. During the next five years, sales contracts on the output of the five plants that Entergy intends to spin off are expiring. It is negotiating new prices that are as much as triple the old ones." [14]

By July 2008, Entergy had received permission from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Energy Regulatory Commission to spin off five of its nuclear plants. "The plants would be owned by a new public company, Enexus Energy Corp., and operated by a new joint venture known as EquaGen Nuclear LLC and owned by Enexus and Entergy," reported the Patriot Ledger. The company was waiting for approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission and New York and Vermont regulators. [15]

New York officials expressed concern that "Entergy, by creating the spinoff, [might try to] end a long-standing revenue-sharing deal with the state that is valued at more than $432 million over the next six years. Another issue is whether Enexus would have the financial wherewithal to pay for any needed work at the plants and their eventual decommissioning." New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said, "Entergy's plan is ill-conceived on a number of levels. It could ultimately cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, does nothing to guarantee adequate decontamination of the site, and does not anticipate a future without Indian Point." [16]

In August 2008, Entergy and New York reached an agreement on the status of their revenue-sharing arrangement, if the company's nuclear plants are spun off into a new company. Under the reported agreement, "New York state will continue to receive as much as $72 million a year through 2014," the end-point of the original arrangement. The agreement resolves the dispute with the New York Power Authority, but the spin-off still needs approval from the New York Public Service Commission and other state regulators." [17]

However, in October 2008, Entergy said it would probably delay its spin-off plans, as "'unprecedented turmoil in financial markets' has clouded prospects for completion of the largely debt-financed transaction." [18]

Promoting nuclear power

Entergy is involved with three applications to build new reactors. On September 22, 2005, it announced its intention to seek a permit to construct and operate a new nuclear reactor at its River Bend site in Louisiana. It is expected that Entergy will submit its application for a Combined Operating License (COL) to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in early 2008. The regulatory review is expected to take approximately three years, and construction is expected to take about four years. The best-case scenario (from Entergy’s perspective) would see the new reactor operational in 2015.[19]

The other applications are through the NuStart Consortium, one at Entergy’s Grand Gulf site,[20] where Entergy is seeking an Early Site Permit[21] to environmentally qualify the site for a new nuclear reactor, and one at the Bellefonte site in Alabama, owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority.[22]

Perhaps with an eye towards its nuclear plant holdings, "Entergy has pledged to cap greenhouse gases by partnering with the Environmental Defense Fund." (Entergy's Climate Report)

Problems at Indian Point

In August 2007, the New York Times reported on Entergy's problems with getting its "new $15 million emergency siren system up and running" at the Indian Point nuclear power station in New York. "The sirens are meant to alert residents within 10 miles of the plant of an emergency," explained the Times. But, during testing, "sirens that were supposed to be heard miles away were inaudible in several areas. Alarms that were meant to be tested silently blared unexpectedly, startling residents who had not been warned." [5]

"The system was supposed to be working by the end of January [2007]. Entergy received a 75-day extension from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. But on April 12, three days before the second target date, 31 sirens failed to sound during a test. After Entergy missed the April deadline, the N.R.C. fined the company $130,000." The third deadline was August 24- Entergy spokesman Jim Steets said the company is "confident we’ll make it." [6]

The siren problems "come in the midst of Entergy’s application to renew the nuclear power plants' licenses for another 20 years," noted the Times. "Indian Point 2's license expires in 2013, Indian Point 3's in 2015." But "the siren problem has no bearing on the relicensing." [7]

On August 31, 2007, the New York Times reported that Entergy "had missed its third deadline for installing the [emergency siren] system and could face fines." [8]

In January 2008, the NRC proposed a $650,000 fine against Indian Point, for not meeting the "deadline to install new emergency warning sirens with backup power supplies." The fine is "10 times the normal size" of such sanctions, reported the New York Times, with possible additional fines if the safety requirements are not met "in a timely manner." [23]

In April 2009, Entergy hired the Breaux Lott Leadership Group PR firm, to "deal with nuclear issues as the license of its Indian Point facility ... is up for renewal." The firm's leadership, former U.S. Senators John Breaux and Trent Lott, will work on the Entergy account, along with their sons. "A round of raucous public hearings is expected" as part of Indian Point's license renewal application, according to the trade publication O'Dwyer's. [24]

Indian Point safety panel

In March 2008, Entergy announced the formation of an "Independent Safety Evaluation" panel, to "provide public assurances about the operation and protection of New York's largest nuclear power facility." Entergy selected panel co-chairs Drs. James Rhoades and Neil Todreas. The co-chairs then recruited the other ten panel members. The environmental group Riverkeeper and local elected officials questioned the independence of the panel, since Entergy is paying panel members. [25]

The Indian Point panel's media contact is Matthew Simmons of Potomac Communications Group. [25] On behalf of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Potomac PR firm previously ghost-wrote pro-nuclear op/eds that appeared in newspapers across the country. The Austin Chronicle, which reported the campaign, called it "Big Nuke's vast op-ed conspiracy: a decades-long, centrally orchestrated plan to defraud the nation's newspaper readers by misrepresenting the propaganda of one hired atomic gun as the learned musings of disparate academics and other nuclear-industry 'experts.'" [26]

Buying support in Vermont and New York

"Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee just gave Building a Better Brattleboro, the nonprofit that decorates the town, a $10,000 check to truly shine," reported Vermont's Brattleboro Reformer in December 2006. "In addition to providing the funding, employees at the nuclear power plant will install, hang up, take down and store the new lights." [27]

Entergy is a member of the Vermont Energy Partnership and of the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (NY AREA). [9] According to one news account, NY AREA is "funded at least partly by Entergy, [the] Indian Point [nuclear power plant]'s owner." [28]

Being the media in New York

Entergy Nuclear sponsors the monthly radio show "Green on Energy," which airs on WVOX 1460 AM in Westchester, New York. The show is hosted by Lawrence Gottlieb, and has featured interviews with nuclear industry consultant Patrick Moore, Ashok Gupta of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Paul Genoa from the Nuclear Energy Institute industry group. [29]

The radio show's host appears to be the same Larry Gottlieb who is Entergy's director of communications. [30] [31]

Coal plant in Louisiana on hold

On March 11, 2009, the Louisiana PSC ordered Entergy Louisiana to suspend the Little Gypsy Repowering project, citing lower gas prices, escalating construction costs, and pending regulations of carbon regulations by the Obama administration. The PSC wants to discuss the economic viability of continuing the project at its next meeting in April.[32]

On April 2, 2009, Entergy Louisiana announced it had agreed with state regulators to delay the repowering project for at least three years. The decision was based in part "on significant uncertainties in the economics of the project," according to a company spokesman.[33]

Existing coal-fired power plants

Entergy owned 5 coal-fired generating stations in 2005, with 4,015 MW of capacity. Here is a list of Entergy's coal power plants:[8][34][35]

Plant Name State County Year(s) Built Capacity 2007 CO2 Emissions 2006 SO2 Emissions
White Bluff AR Jefferson 1980, 1981 1700 MW 12,400,000 tons 38,122 tons
Independence AR Independence 1983, 1984 1700 MW 12,200,000 tons 26,172 tons
Nelson LA Calcasieu 1982 615 MW 7,250,000 tons 17,445 tons

In 2006, Entergy's 3 coal-fired power plants emitted 31.9 million tons of CO2 (0.53% of all U.S. CO2 emissions) and 82,000 tons of SO2 (0.54% of all U.S. SO2 emissions).

Lobbying

According to the Lobbyist.info online database (accessed February 26, 2007; sub req'd), Entergy's in-house lobbying staff include Trevin Dalton, Jerald V. Halvorsen, and Ann L. Pride. [10]

The company's outside lobbyists and consultants include EOP Group on budget and appropriations issues; KPMG on taxation; McGlotten & Jarvis on nuclear energy and safety / consumer issues; Daryl Owen Associates on nuclear power, taxation, and utility issues; Quinn Gillespie & Associates on banking; and Ryan, Phillips, Utrecht & MacKinnon on nuclear energy and environmental issues. [11]

Entergy spent $1,373,885 on lobbying in 2004, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Outside lobbying firms retained by Entergy since 1998 include the Palmetto Group, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, WPP Group, Fleishman-Hillard, David Sibley, Federalist Group (now Ogilvy Government Relations), Capitol Hill Consulting Group, KPMG, Darryl Owen Associates, National Environmental Strategies Company, McGlotten & Jarvis, Baker & Botts, Edward W. Rissing, and The Allbaugh Company. [12]

The company also runs a political action committee, headed by Trevin Dalton, the Entergy Corporation PAC (EnPAC). [13] According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Entergy gave $498,227 to federal candidates and parties during the 2004 election cycle (61% to Republicans), and $459,258 during the 2006 cycle (55% to Republicans). Most of the money was given through EnPAC. [14] [15] [16]

Entergy Nuclear is also a member of the Nuclear Energy Institute.[36]

Public relations

In May 2002, Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter reported that "Burson-Marsteller is handling the public and media uproar over the safety of New York's Indian Point nuclear plant for the facility's owner Entergy Corp. ... The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in its annual review of the nation's 103 reactors released last month, gave the Indian Point 2 reactor its lowest performance rating. Larry Gottlieb, director of communications for New Orleans-based Entergy, said B-M was hired 'mainly for the Indian Point issues, but its work now includes handling the overall image of the company.'" [17]

The following year, Entergy "hired Giuliani Partners to counsel its northeast nuclear division on security and crisis management issues," reported Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter, noting that "Burson-Marsteller [still] does PR for Entergy." [18]

According to the PR firm's website, the Potomac Communications Group also works for Entergy. [19] In 2008, Potomac promoted Entergy's Indian Point "Independent Safety Evaluation" panel. [25]. In 2004, the Austin Chronicle reported that the Potomac firm had been ghostwriting pro-nuclear power op/ed columns for the Nuclear Energy Institute. [37]

In 1997, Entergy was one of five utility companies to form "TVA Watch" or "TVA Reform Alliance," a group critical of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The utilities' group hired the PR firm Dittus Communications, "to wage a campaign against TVA using, in some respects, incorrect and misleading statements and information," according to a complaint from then-TVA General Counsel Edward Christenbury. (Source: Kent Faulk, "TVA Urges Probe of Utility Group," Birmingham News (Alabama), April 17, 1997)

PR awards

Entergy won "PR Campaign of the Year 2006" for "Surviving Hurricanes Katrina and Rita - the Communications Challenge of a Lifetime." In the wake of the hurricanes, "Entergy's corporate communications team" needed to highlight "its progress under intense media scrutiny, and "win the sympathy and patience of customers frustrated after living days or weeks without electricity," wrote PR Week. The company used "news releases, daily media updates, press conferences, and periodic briefings for government officials." For internal communications, Entergy set up "an information line ... with recorded messages, newsletters, e-mails, IEStormNet website, and EntergyRadio.com," as well as producing a video "to rally employees." [20]

In 2004, Entergy was a runner-up for the "Community Relations Campaign of the Year," for its campaign "Preparing for a Nuclear Plant Emergency: Community emergency planning for Indian Point on behalf of Entergy Corporation and government." The PR firm RF Binder Partners worked on the campaign for Entergy. [21] [22]

In 2001, Entergy was nominated for the Public Relations Society of America's Silver Anvil Award, for its campaign titled, "Entergy Ice Storm Outage Response: Heroes on Ice."

Congressional campaign contributions

Entergy is one of the largest energy company contributors to both Republican and Democratic candidates for Congress. These contributions total $338,725 to the 110th US Congress (as of the third quarter), the largest of which has been to Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) for $21,500. Senator Levin, for his part, is a strong supporter of the coal industry on energy bills.[23]

Contributions like this from fossil fuel companies to members of Congress are often seen as a political barrier to pursuing clean energy.[24]

More information on coal industry contributions to Congress can be found at FollowtheCoalMoney.org, a project sponsored by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Oil Change International and Appalachian Voices.

Executive management

From the company's website (accessed February 26, 2007): [25]

Contact information

Website: http://www.entergy.com
Website: Entergy nuclear: http://www.entergy-nuclear.com/
Website: Entergy Awards: http://www.entergy.com/about_entergy/awards.aspx

Coal Ash Waste and Water Contamination

In August 2010 a study released by the Environmental Integrity Project, the Sierra Club and Earthjustice reported that Arkansas, along with 34 states, had significant groundwater contamination from coal ash that is not currently regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report, in an attempt to pressure the EPA to regulate coal ash, noted that most states do not monitor drinking water contamination levels near waste disposal sites.[38] The report mentioned Arkansas based Flint Creek Power Plant and the Independence Steam Station were two sites that have groundwater contamination due to coal ash waste.[39]

Other coal waste sites

To see a nationwide list of over 350 coal waste sites in the United States, click here. To see a listing of coal waste sites in a particular state, click on the map:

<us_map redirect=":Category:Existing coal waste sites in {state}"></us_map>

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Entergy Corp., BusinessWeek Company Insight Center, accessed July 2008.
  2. 2007 Annual Report[1]
  3. "Company History" Entergy website, accessed July 2011.
  4. "Company History" Entergy website, accessed July 2011.
  5. [American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Sponsors, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011]
  6. [American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Receptions, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011]
  7. CEO Compensation: #206 J Wayne Leonard, Forbes.com, May 3, 2007.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed April 2008.
  9. "Entergy CEO says coal is the answer to global warming," Times-Picayune, May 8, 2009.
  10. Entergy Nuclear, "Plant Information", undated, accessed December 2007.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Yvonne Zipp, "Radioactive water was released into Lake Michigan before Palisades nuclear plant shutdown Sunday", MLive.com, May 6, 2013
  12. Aaron Mueller, "Palisades Nuclear Power Plant to replace bottom of leaking tank, remains shut down", May 20, 2013
  13. "Entergy Plans Nuclear Plant Spin-off," Reuters, November 5, 2007.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Rebecca Smith, "Entergy Nuclear Spinoff Taps Rising Plant Values," Wall Street Journal (sub req'd), November 6, 2007.
  15. "Entergy gets OK to spin off Pilgrim nuclear plant," The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, Massachusetts), July 29, 2008.
  16. Editorial: "What's up with Indian Point?" The Journal News (New York), July 30, 2008.
  17. "Entergy, New York Reach Deal Tied to Nuclear-Power Spinoff," Wall Street Journal (sub req'd), August 26, 2008.
  18. Rebecca Smith, "Entergy to Postpone Spinoff," Wall Street Journal (sub req'd), October 29, 2008.
  19. Public Citizen website, accessed December 2006 Page on River Bend.
  20. Public Citizen website, accessed December 2006 Page on Grand Gulf
  21. For more information about Early Site Permits and Combined Operating Licences see the Public Citizen website
  22. Public Citizen website, accessed December 2006 Page on Bellefonte.
  23. Matthew Wald, "$650,000 Fine Urged for Indian Point Owner," New York Times, January 25, 2008.
  24. "Entergy Plus into Breaux Lott," O'Dwyer's PR Daily (sub req'd), April 7, 2009.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Diane Farsetta, "Indian Point on the Potomac: Entergy's New Safety Panel and PR Firm," Center for Media and Democracy, April 2, 2008.
  26. William D. Adler, "Will Shill for Nukes", The Austin Chronicle, April 16, 2004.
  27. Cate Lecuyer, "Entergy to enhance town's holiday glow," Brattleboro Reformer (Vermont), December 4, 2006.
  28. Michael Risinit, "Relicensing battle brews at Indian Pt," The Journal News (Westchester County, NY), March 30, 2005.
  29. "Environment," Entergy Nuclear's Indian Point plant website, accessed November 2007.
  30. Press release, "Six Lower Hudson Valley Nonprofits Selected to Receive Air Time on Yankee Radio Donated by Entergy," Entergy Nuclear, 2007.
  31. Green Storm Trooper, "Entergy Propaganda - How Low Can They Go?," Green Nuclear Butterfly blog, November 12, 2007.
  32. "PSC suspends power project," Associated Press, March 11, 2009.
  33. "Entergy agrees to delay Louisiana pet-coke plant," Reuters, April 2, 2009.
  34. Environmental Integrity Project, Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants, July 2007.
  35. Dig Deeper, Carbon Monitoring for Action database, accessed June 2008.
  36. Nuclear Energy Institute, Nuclear Energy Institute Member Roster", August 2007. (Pdf)
  37. William D. Adler, "Will Shill for Nukes", The Austin Chronicle, April 16, 2004.
  38. "Study of coal ash sites finds extensive water contamination" Renee Schoff, Miami Herald, August 26, 2010.
  39. "Enviro groups: ND, SD coal ash polluting water" Associated Press, August 24, 2010.

External resources

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