Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
As a charter member of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Climate Challenge, NiSource has implemented cost-effective methods for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. NiSource has already reported CO2 reductions of more than 34 million equivalent tons since 1990.
In March, 2008, EnergyUSA, a NiSource subsidiary, joined The Conservation Fund at the University of Notre Dame in an initiative that pools customer donations to help address climate change, restore sensitive wildlife habitat and enhance parks and wildlife refuges across the United States. The company pools customers’ donations and passes 100 percent of those donations on to The Conservation Fund, a land conservation nonprofit group. Contributions support The Conservation Fund's Go ZeroSM Carbon Sequestration program - an effort to plant native trees, restore once-forested habitat for wildlife, and enhance America's public recreation areas.
NiSource has a long-term commitment to Natural Gas STAR, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program designed to encourage voluntary reductions in the emission of methane by natural gas distribution companies, transmission companies and exploration and production companies. The EPA has recognized Columbia Gas of Massachusetts as a Natural Gas STAR Transmission Partner of the Year for 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2006; and Columbia Gas of Massachusetts as the Distribution Partner of the Year in 2000. All of the NiSource distribution companies were named Partner of the Year in the Distribution segment in 2004. These awards demonstrate outstanding performance in reducing methane emissions, identifying and implementing new emission-reducing practices and supporting Natural Gas STAR Program outreach activities. These NiSource companies were selected from more than 80 program partners across the natural gas industry. Since 1993, the NiSource companies have reported to the EPA's Natural Gas Star Program savings of over 56 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of methane or 22 million tons CO2 equivalent emissions. These reductions in methane emissions have the same environmental benefit as planting 5.5 million acres of forest or taking nearly four million cars off the road for one year.
In addition to long involvement in Greenhouse Gas reduction efforts, NiSource has been an active participant in the public policy debate regarding climate change legislation.