NiSource

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NiSource Inc.
Formerly
NIPSCO Industries, Inc.
(1987–1999)
Public
Traded as
IndustryPublic utility
Founded1912
HeadquartersMerrillville, Indiana, U.S.
Key people
Joseph Hamrock, CEO
ProductsNatural gas, electricity
RevenueUS$5.21 billion (2019)
Total assetsUS$22.66 billion (2019)
Total equityUS$5.99 billion (2019)
Number of employees
Increase 8,363 (2019)
Websitenisource.com
Footnotes / references
[1]

NiSource Inc. is one of the largest fully regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.5 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers across seven states through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. The company, based in Merrillville, Indiana, has more than 8,000 employees. As of 2018, NiSource is the sole Indiana-based utility company.

Company operations[edit]

NiSource's natural gas utilities provide domestically produced supplies of natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial customers via nearly 60,000 miles of pipeline and related facilities in seven states: Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

NiSource provides electric energy to nearly 500,000 customers, all located in northern Indiana. NiSource's electric operations include power generation, transmission and local distribution, as well as wholesale and electric transmission transactions. NiSource uses both traditional and renewable generation sources, including natural gas, hydroelectric, wind, and coal generated supplies, providing a total system operating net capability of more than 3,000 megawatts.

NiSource has had a climate change policy in place since 2009.[2]

In 2015, NiSource was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability—North America Index for the second year in a row and for the ninth time since 1999.[3]

Internal organization[edit]

NiSource operates seven local utilities in its service region:

  • Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO)
  • Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (previously Bay State Gas)
  • Columbia Gas of Ohio
  • Columbia Gas of Kentucky
  • Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania
  • Columbia Gas of Maryland
  • Columbia Gas of Virginia

Recent corporate actions[edit]

On July 1, 2015, NiSource separated Columbia Pipeline Group (NYSE: CPGX) into a stand-alone publicly traded company. Each NiSource shareholder at the time of the separation received one share of Columbia Pipeline Group for each share of NiSource. The separation of Columbia Pipeline Group included Columbia Gas Transmission, Columbia Gulf Transmission, Columbia Midstream Group, its ownership in Columbia Pipeline Partners (NYSE: CPPL), and other natural gas pipeline, storage and midstream holdings.[4]

In January 2019, the company announced that it would accelerate retirement of its five coal-fired units, and focus on "renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind energy, along with battery storage technology," as part of an initiative titled "Your Energy, Your Future", with a goal of "reducing carbon emissions by more than 90 percent by 2028."[5][6]

Criticism[edit]

In December 2011, the nonpartisan organization Public Campaign criticized NiSource for spending $1.83 million on lobbying and not paying any taxes during 2008–2010, instead getting $227 million in tax rebates, despite making a profit of $1.4 billion, and increasing executive pay by 33% to $11.2 million in 2010 for its top five executives.[7] One rule NiSource, among other companies, benefitted from was a bonus depreciation rule that lowered the federal tax expense. NiSource stated, "This law, enacted by Congress, encouraged companies like NiSource to accelerate capital investments to spur economic recovery by permitting portions of these investments to be deducted at an accelerated rate. Only the timing of the deductions was changed, and not the amount that could be deducted. This means our income tax expense will likely be higher in the future."[8]

Massachusetts gas line explosions and exit from Massachusetts[edit]

On September 13, 2018, 80 homes in Andover, Massachusetts, Lawrence, Massachusetts, and North Andover, Massachusetts, simultaneously exploded and caught fire due to issues with gas lines owned by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts,[9][10] a subsidiary of NiSource. At least 25 people were injured and one was killed; residents from parts of three towns had to be evacuated for a few days and electricity service turned off until the area was inspected for gas. Gas service to 8,600 customers was disrupted, in some cases for months. Columbia Gas admitted that maintenance workers mishandled sensors that monitored gas line pressure, and pled guilty to violating the federal Pipeline Safety Act. The company paid a fine of $53 million, in addition to a $143 million settlement with residents and businesses, $83 million paid to municipalities, undisclosed amounts paid for injuries and one death, and direct spending on replacing damaged pipelines and appliances. NiSource agreed to sell its Massachusetts gas business to competitor Eversource, at a loss compared to what it paid to acquire Columbia Gas.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "US SEC: 2019 Form 10-K NiSource Inc". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. February 28, 2020. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  2. ^ Environmental Health and Safety Committee, NiSource Board of Directors (April 14, 2009). "Climate Change Policy" (PDF).
  3. ^ Benman, Keith (16 September 2015). "NiSource named again to Dow sustainability index". The Times of Northwest Indiana. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  4. ^ Tincher, Sarah (2 July 2015), “Columbia Pipeline Group completes spin-off from NiSource”, The State Journal, retrieved 2 September 2015.
  5. ^ Ober, Andy (January 10, 2019). "NIPSCO Looks to Ride Energy Revolution". Inside Indiana Business. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
  6. ^ Grover, Sami (January 14, 2019). "Indiana utility to quit coal and cut CO2 90% within 10 years". TreeHugger. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
  7. ^ Portero, Ashley. "30 Major U.S. Corporations Paid More to Lobby Congress Than Income Taxes, 2008–2010". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 26 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  8. ^ Tweh, Bowdeya (4 November 2011), "Report: NiSource among companies getting large tax breaks", The Times of Northwest Indiana, retrieved 2 September 2015.
  9. ^ "More than 30 homes catch fire after natural gas issues north of Boston; 4 injured". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  10. ^ Melanie Schuman; Ray Sanchez; Pierre Meilhan. "Gas explosions, fires reported in Massachusetts towns". CNN. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  11. ^ Columbia Gas Will Leave Mass. As It Pleads Guilty To Federal Charge After Disaster

External links[edit]