Atmos Energy

Atmos Energy (nyse|ATO), headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is the largest distributor of natural gas in the United States, serving 3.1 million customers nationwide. Atmos acquired TXU's natural gas and pipeline holdings in 2004. The company began as Energas in 1983, a spinoff of the natural gas distribution division of Pioneer Corporation. In 1988, the company changed its name to Atmos and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Background

Atmos Energy, the largest pure natural gas distributor in the United States, delivers natural gas to 3.2 million residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and public-authority customers. Its regulated utility services are provided to more than 1,600 communities in 12 states. [http://www.newsdemocratleader.com/articles/2007/08/03/news/news04.txt]

Atmos Energy has grown from 279,000 customers in 1983 mainly by acquiring utility assets. Its most recent acquisition was the distribution and pipeline operations of TXU Gas Company in October 2004. Atmos Energy is the largest natural gas utility in Texas. Atmos Energy is also the largest natural gas distributor in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Atmos Energy is known as one of the most efficient natural gas utilities in the industry. In 2006, the company served 723 utility customers per utility employee, as compared with an average of 532 customers per employee served by its peer group. The company’s utility operation and maintenance expense of $112 per customer in fiscal 2006 was also lower than its peer group average of $218 per customer.

Atmos Energy's nonutility operations are ranked as one of the leading domestic mid-tier gas marketers. The company markets natural gas supplies to industrial customers and municipalities in 22 states, arranges for gas transportation and management services and manages company-owned gas storage and pipeline assets, including one of the largest intrastate natural gas pipelines in Texas.

Environmental Record

Atmos Energy was awarded the "2005 Environmental Excellence New Technology Award" for their used of an air monitoring device that measured compounds in the air over a month-long remediation of a former manufacturing site. An invisible infrared beam was used to constantly monitor the compounds found in the air to help preserve safe air quality while the site was rehabbed. [http://www.allbusiness.com/mining/support-activities-mining-support-oil/1057227-1.html FERC Clears Exelon-PSEG Merger (released 1 Jul 2005)] retrieved 5 May 2008]

The Environmental Protection Agency awarded Atmos Energy a Continuing Excellence award for their improvement over a five year span for continual improvement in reducing emissions under the STAR program. The program is a "voluntary partnership between the EPA and the natural gas industry to encourage voluntary reductions in the emissions of methane." Atmos Energy reported the highest overall reduction in 2005 and currently "has the third highest cumulative reductions of all distribution partners." Their total reductions are equal to that of planting 347,000 acres of trees in one year, enough natural gas to heat 45,000 homes for one year or removing 231,000 cars from the road for one year. [http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Atmos+Energy+Honored+for+Greenhouse+Gas+Reductions-a0155033422 Atmos Energy Honored for Greenhouse Gas Reductions retrieved 5 May 2008] These awards were, in part, due to the continuing devotion of Atmos Energy to replacing aging natural gas pipelines. By doing this they reduce the risk of methane leaks into the atmosphere. [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2006_Nov_27/ai_n16869219 Atmos energy Honored for Greenhouse Gas Reductions (released 27 Nov 2006)] retrieved 5 May 2008]

Human Rights Record

Atmos Energy has recently been investigated by the US Labor Department's Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) for disability discrimination against a disabled, Gulf War veteran. He reported asking for simple, workplace accommodations for his disabilities and was summarily dismissed without further discussion. The EEOC has determined that Atmos was in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, and they may be sued. A complaint has also been filed with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Atmos refused to admit any wrongdoing in the situation, and they refused reconciliation.

References

External links

* [http://www.atmosenergy.com/ Company web site]


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