Chesterton Tribune

NIPSCO lawsuit: US Steel illegally resold electricity gas to ArcelorMittal

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U.S. Steel Corporation (USS) illegally provided electric and natural gas service to ArcelorMittal for four years.

That’s the contention of a lawsuit filed on May 21 by the Northern Indiana Public Service Company in Porter Superior Court.

NIPSCO is seeking to recover the revenues—unspecified—which it says USS collected in the transaction with ArcelorMittal.

According to the six-count suit, from November 2003 through the fall of 2007, USS Gary Works sold all of the electricity and natural gas used and consumed by ArcelorMittal, “an undisputed fact” as determined by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission in an order released earlier this month.

NIPSCO “had no knowledge until June 2007” that USS was re-selling electricity and natural gas services to ArcelorMittal for “manufacturing purposes,” the lawsuit alleges.

On Oct. 1, 2007, NIPSCO initiated proceedings against USS before the IURC “seeking necessary liability determinations.” The IURC released those determinations on May 11 and 10 days later NIPSCO filed its lawsuit against USS.

In re-selling electricity, USS violated the exclusivity of NIPSCO’s electric service area, breached its contract with NIPSCO—which specifically prohibits a customer from re-selling electricity—and illegally functioned as a public utility in the State of Indiana, the lawsuit alleges.

In re-selling natural gas—“without first obtaining a certificate of public convenience and necessity” issued by the IURC—USS similarly violated NIPSCO’s gas service territory and gas tariff, the lawsuit further alleges.

NIPSCO wants the gross revenues which it says USS derived from the re-sale, “reasonable” attorney fee, and costs.



Posted 5/26/2010