NiSource

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NiSource
Type Public (NYSENI)
Headquarters 801 East 86th Ave.
Merrillville, IN 46410
Area served DE, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV
Key people Robert C. Skaggs Jr., CEO
Industry Natural Gas Distributor
Electric Producer & DIstributor
Products Natural Gas, Electricity
Revenue $6.89 billion (2007)[1]
Net income $321.4 million (2007)[1]
Employees 7,607 (2007)
Subsidiaries Bay State Gas
Columbia Gas of Kentucky
Columbia Gas of Maryland
Columbia Gas of Ohio
Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania
Columbia Gas of Virginia
Columbia Gas Transmission
Columbia Gulf Transmission
NiSource Retail Services
Crossroads Pipeline
Energy USA-TPC
Kokomo Gas & Fuel
NIFL
NIPSCO
NiSource Energy Technologies
Northern Utilities
Website NiSource.com

NiSource, Inc., based in Merrillville, Indiana, is a Fortune 500 company engaged in natural gas transmission, storage and distribution, as well as electric generation, transmission and distribution. NiSource operating companies deliver energy to 3.8 million customers located within the high-demand energy corridor stretching from the Gulf Coast through the Midwest to New England.[2]

NiSource companies include:[3]

  • Columbia Gas (Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia)
  • NIPSCO, "Northern Indiana Public Service Company" (Indiana)
  • Bay State Gas (Massachusetts)
  • Columbia Gas Transmission

CEO compensation

In April 2008, Forbes listed NiSource CEO Robert C. Skaggs Jr. as receiving $810,000 in total compensation in the previous fiscal year, with a five-year total compensation of $2.58 million. He ranked 39th on the list of CEOs in the Utility industry, and 498th out of all CEOs in the United States.[4]

Power portfolio

Out of its total 4,079 MW of electric generating capacity in 2005 (0.38% of the U.S. total), NiSource produced 85.1% from coal, 14.5% from natural gas, and 0.5% from hydroelectricity. All of NiSource's power plants are in Indiana.[5]

Political contributions

NiSource is one of the largest energy company contributors to both Republican and Democratic candidates for Congress. These contributions total $151,400 to the 110th US Congress (as of the third quarter), the largest of which has been to Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) for $7,500. Rep. Boehner, for his part, has consistently voted with the coal industry on energy, war and climate bills.[1]

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

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.

Existing coal-fired power plants

NiSource owned 10 coal-fired generating stations in 2005, with 3,470 MW of capacity. Here is a list of NiSource's coal power plants:[5][6][7]

Plant Name State County Year(s) Built Capacity 2007 CO2 Emissions 2006 SO2 Emissions
Schahfer IN Jasper 1976, 1979, 1983, 1986 1943 MW 11,000,000 tons 35,909 tons
Bailly IN Porter 1962, 1968 604 MW 3,793,000 tons 3,309 tons
Michigan City IN La Porte 1974 540 MW 3,139,000 tons 14,841 tons
Dean Mitchell IN Lake 1959, 1970 384 MW N/A tons 7,276 tons

In 2006, NiSource's 4 coal-fired power plants emitted at least 17.9 million tons of CO2 and 61,000 tons of SO2.

Dean Mitchell station to close, pollution controls at three other plants

On January 13, 2011, the Obama administration brokered a settlement in which Northern Indiana Public Service Co. will permanently shut down an idled coal-fired power plant in Gary, Indana - the Dean Mitchell Generating Station - and spend $600 million to install and improve pollution controls at its three other aging electric generators - Schahfer Generating Station in Wheatfield, Bailly Generating Station in Chesterton, and the Michigan City Generating Station. The improvements will reduce smog- and soot-forming sulfur oxide by 46,000 tons a year and curb lung-damaging nitrogen oxide by 18,000 tons annually, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. NIPSCO faced legal troubles for upgrading the power plants to keep them operating while failing to install modern pollution controls required under the Clean Air Act's New Source Review provisions. The plants avoided the toughest provisions of the law for decades, in part because regulators assumed during the 1970s that they wouldn’t be running much longer.[8]

The settlement is the 17th negotiated by the EPA and the Justice Department since Obama took office, as part of a national campaign to reduce air pollution from the oldest existing coal plants, some of which date back to the 1940s. Most of the cases have involved utilities in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. NIPSCO also will pay a $3.5 million fine and spend another $9.5 million on environmental projects, including soot filters for old diesel engines, cleaner woodstoves and restoration of land next to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.[8]

Coal waste

EPA "high hazard" coal waste dam

In November 2011, the EPA released a new set of coal waste data that revealed 181 “significant” hazard dams in 18 states - more than three times the 60 significant-hazard ponds listed in the original database released in 2009. In addition to the increase in the number of significant hazard-rated ponds, eight previously unrated coal ash ponds were found to be high hazard ponds in information released by the EPA earlier in 2011. Because of the switch in ratings after the EPA inspections, the total number of high hazard ponds has stayed roughly the same at a total of 47 ponds nationwide.[9]

According to the National Inventory of Dams (NID) criteria, “high” hazard coal ash ponds are categorized as such because their failure will likely cause loss of human life. Six states that gained high hazard ponds include:[9]

Lobbying and tax subsidies

Public Campaign Profit Taxes & Lobbying Corp. Chart.png

A 2011 analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, "Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers: 2008-10" found dozens of companies, including fossil fuels, used tax breaks and various tax dodging methods to have a negative tax balance between 2008 and 2010, while making billions in profits. The study found 32 companies in the fossil-fuel industry -- such as Peabody Energy, ConEd, and PG&E -- transformed a tax responsibility of $17.3 billion on $49.4 billion in pretax profits into a tax benefit of $6.5 billion, for a net gain of $24 billion.[10]

The companies that paid no tax for at least one year between 2008 and 2010 include the utilities Ameren, American Electric Power, CenterPoint Energy, CMS Energy, Consolidated Edison, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy, FirstEnergy, Integrys, NextEra Energy, NiSource, Pepco, PG&E, PPL, Progress Energy, Sempra Energy, Wisconsin Energy and Xcel Energy.[11]

In December 2011, the organization Public Campaign published a report called "For Hire: Lobbyists or the 99%?" on corporations that have paid more on lobbying than on federal taxes. NiSource ranked ninth (see chart), reporting nearly $1.4 billion in U.S. profits from 2008 to 2010, and collecting $227 million from the U.S Treasury while spending $1.8 million on lobbying;[12] the company had nearly $712 million in tax subsidies, for a tax rate of -16.4%.[13]

Contact details

NiSource Inc.
801 East 86th Avenue
Merrillville, IN 46410
Website: http://www.nisource.com/

Articles and Resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 NiSource Inc., BusinessWeek Company Insight Center, accessed July 2008.
  2. NiSource, "NiSource Corporate Profile", Nisource website, August 2009.
  3. NiSource, "Annual Report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year to December 31, 2008", Filed February 27, 2009.
  4. CEO Compensation: #489 Robert C Skaggs Jr, Forbes.com, April 30, 2008.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed April 2008.
  6. Environmental Integrity Project, Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants, July 2007.
  7. Dig Deeper, Carbon Monitoring for Action database, accessed June 2008.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Michael Hawthorne, "Deal would clear up coal-plant pollution" Chicago tribune, Jan. 13, 2011.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Ken Ward Jr., "EPA data reveals more dangerous coal ash ponds" Coal Tattoo, Oct. 31, 2011.
  10. Brad Johnson, "Corporate Welfare For Energy Companies Means We Paid $24 Billion In Taxes To Them," Think Progress, Nov. 7, 2011.
  11. Robert S. McIntyre, Matthew Gardner, Rebecca J. Wilkins, Richard Phillips, "Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers: 2008-10" Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, November 2011 Report.
  12. Public Campaign, For Hire: Lobbyists or the 99%? How Corporations Pay More for Lobbyists Than in Taxes, organizational report, December 2011
  13. Public Interest Research Group and Citizens for Tax Justice, "Representation Without Taxation: Fortune 500 Companies that Spend Big on Lobbying and Avoid Taxes," Public Interest Research Group and Citizens for Tax Justice, January 2012 Report

Related SourceWatch Articles

External Articles

Wikipedia also has an article on NiSource. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.