Constellation Energy

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Constellation Energy Group
Type Public (NYSECEG)
Headquarters 750 East Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
Area served MD
Key people Mayo A. Shattuck III, CEO
Industry Electric Producer, Wholesaler, and Utility
Natural Gas Utility
Energy Management and Consulting
Products Electricity, Natural Gas
Revenue $21.2 billion (2007)[1]
Net income $821.5 million (2007)[1]
Employees 10,200 (2007)
Subsidiaries Constellation Energy Commodities
Constellation NewEnergy
Constellation Energy Generation
Baltimore Gas & Electric
Fellon-McCord & Associates
Constellation Energy Projects & Services
BGE Home
Website Constellation.com

Constellation Energy is a major U.S. energy company which is headquartered in Baltimore. The company describes itself as "one of the nation's largest wholesale power sellers" and "a major generator of electricity" from a "diversified fleet of power plants strategically located throughout the United States."[2] The company operates over 35 power plants in 11 states (mainly Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, and California) under its operating company Constellation Commodities Group and/or Constellation Generation Group.

Financial bidding over Constellation

In September 2008, Constellation's financial situation became precarious, due to its ties with the bankrupt investment banking firm Lehman Brothers. Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy Holdings made an offer to buy Constellation, which the company accepted. Electricite de France (EDF) also expressed interest in Constellation. [3] The Wall Street Journal reported that nuclear power companies were concerned that Buffet's likely control of Constellation "gives one of the nuclear power industry's biggest skeptics some important clout in deciding its future." Buffet has rejected called nuclear power plants "too costly to build," yet Constellation is half-owner of UniStar Nuclear Energy, a consortium seeking to build new nuclear plants in the United States. [4]

In December 2008, EDF offered $4.5 billion for half of Constellation's nuclear business. "The French company wants to gain generating capacity in North America and defeat a rival bid from Buffett's MidAmerican Energy Holdings," reported the Washington Post. "EDF's offer would force Constellation to invest in nuclear power, which would mean less free cash flow, while MidAmerican's bid 'should probably deliver a more stable dividend trend,'" one analyst told the Post. [5]

Congressional campaign contributions

American Electric Power the single largest energy contributor to both Republican and Democratic candidates for Congress. These contributions total $383,250 to the 110th US Congress (as of the third quarter), the largest of which has been to Albert Wynn (D-MD) for $11,000.[1]

Contributions like this from 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.

Coal lobbying

Constellation Energy is a member of the American Coal Ash Association (ACAA), an umbrella lobbying group for all coal ash interests that includes major coal burners Duke Energy, Southern Company and American Electric Power as well as dozens of other companies. The group argues that the so-called "beneficial-use industry" would be eliminated if a "hazardous" designation was given for coal ash waste.[6]

ACAA set up a front group called Citizens for Recycling First, which argues that using toxic coal ash as fill in other products is safe, despite evidence to the contrary.[6]

Power portfolio

Out of its total 9,614 MW of electric generating capacity in 2005 (0.90% of the U.S. total), Constellation produces 44.2% from nuclear, 28.3% from coal, 13.0% from oil, 8.7% from natural gas, 4.7% from hydroelectricity, 1.2% from biomass, 0.2% from geothermal, and 0.1% from solar. Constellation owns power plants in California, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Utah; 59.1% of its generating capacity is in Maryland, and 25.2% is in New York.[7]

CEO compensation

In May 2007, Forbes listed CEO Mayo Shattuck as receiving $12.05 million in total compensation for the latest fiscal year, with a five-year total compensation of $75.02 million. He ranked 7th on the list of CEOs in the Utilities industry, and 154th out of all CEOs in the United States.[8]

Personnel

In February 2009, Constellation hired former White House Council on Environmental Quality chair James L. Connaughton, for the new position of "executive vice president, corporate affairs, public and environmental policy." Connaughton will "direct the company's environmental and energy policy matters, as well as public and government affairs," or lobbying. According to a Constellation press release, Connaughton will help the company highlight its "low-emitting merchant fleet, expanding renewable portfolio and energy efficiency services, and its position as a leader in advancing the critical renaissance of emission-free nuclear energy." [9] As part of the George W. Bush administration, Connaughton was criticized for helping stall action on climate change, and misleading the public about air quality in New York City, post-9/11. [10] [11]

Services

Constellation Energy delivers electricity to 1.3 million customers and natural gas to over 600,000 customers in Central Maryland under its operating company Baltimore Gas & Electric. Constellation Energy provides essential home and light commercial products and services under its operating company BGE Home. Constellation Energy serves more than 10,000 commercial and industrial customers throughout 31 states and 3 Canadian provinces representing more than 15,000 megawatts of peak load and nearly 300 billion cubic feet (bcf) of annual natural gas consumption under its Constellation NewEnergy operating company. Constellation NewEnergy also supplies power to two-thirds of Fortune 100 companies.

Acquisitions

On December 19, 2005, FPL Group (owner of Florida Power and Light) announced the acquisition of Constellation Energy in a merger transaction valued at more than US$11 billion - as well as the fact that it would adopt "Constellation Energy" as its name for the post-merger entity. The merger was canceled on October 25, 2006.[12]

On July 1, 2008, Constellation Energy bought uranium trading firm Nufcor International from AngloGold Ashanti and FirstRand International.[13]

Environmental record

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have identified Constellation Energy as the 33rd-largest corporate producer of air pollution in the United States, with roughly 15 million pounds of toxic chemicals released annually into the air. Major pollutants indicated by the study include sulfuric acid, chlorine, nickel compounds, and hydrochloric acid.[14]

Existing coal-fired power plants

Constellation had 12 coal-fired generating stations in 2008, with 2,719 MW of capacity. Here is a list of Constellation's coal power plants with capacity over 100 MW:[7][15][16]

Plant Name State County Year(s) Built Capacity 2007 CO2 Emissions 2006 SO2 Emissions
Brandon Shores MD Anne Arundel 1984, 1991 1370 MW 7,929,000 tons 40,467 tons
Herbert A. Wagner MD Anne Arundel 1959, 1966 495 MW 3,673,000 tons 19,646 tons
Crane MD Baltimore 1961, 1963 400 MW 2,155,000 tons 28,744 tons
Colver PA Cambria 1995 118 MW 991,000 tons N/A
ACE Cogeneration CA San Bernardino 1990 108 MW 991,000 tons N/A

In 2006, Constellation's 5 major coal-fired power plants emitted 15.7 million tons of CO2 and at least 89,000 tons of SO2 (0.6% of all U.S. SO2 emissions).

Brandon Shores second highest in annual toxic emissions

According to a July 2011 NRDC report, "How Power Plants Contaminate Our Air and States" Constellation Energy's Brandon Shores released the second highest amount of toxic air pollutants annually - 13.1 million pounds - of any plant in the nation, based on data from the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory (2009 data, accessed June 2011).

Contact details

Constellation Energy
750 East Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-783-2800
Website: http://www.constellation.com/portal/site/constellation/

Resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Constellation Energy Group, Inc., BusinessWeek Company Insight Center, accessed July 2008.
  2. Constellation Energy, "About Us", Constellation Energy website, accessed July 2008.
  3. Ken Silverstein, "Buffett Makes Bid for Constellation," EnergyBiz Insider, September 26, 2008.
  4. Rebecca Smith, "Buffett Could Reshape Nuclear Power Industry ," Wall Street Journal (sub req'd), September 26, 2008.
  5. "EDF Was 'Approached' for Bid," Washington Post, December 5, 2008.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Coal-Fired Utilities to American Public: Kiss my Ash DeSmogBlog.com & PolluterWatch, October 27, 2010.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed April 2008.
  8. CEO Compensation: #154 Mayo A Shattuck III, Forbes.com, May 3, 2007.
  9. Press release, "Constellation Energy Names James L. Connaughton Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Public and Environmental Policy," Constellation Energy, February 23, 2009.
  10. Jim Hightower, "A Dirty Dozen: Sub-cabinet policy operatives actually run government", Utne.com, June 2004.
  11. "EPA's Response to the World Trade Center Collapse: Challenges, Successes, and Areas for Improvement (pdf)," U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Inspector General, August 21, 2003.
  12. Constellation cancels planned merger, Reuters, Oct. 25, 2006.
  13. US power company buys up uranium trader, World Nuclear News, July 1, 2008.
  14. Toxic 100, Political Economy Research Institute, accessed Aug. 2007.
  15. Environmental Integrity Project, Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants, July 2007.
  16. Dig Deeper, Carbon Monitoring for Action database, accessed June 2008.

Related SourceWatch articles

External links

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