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City seeks to delay Atmos hike

November 11, 2013

Atmos Energy's proposed rate hike probably won't be going into effect as soon as the company would like.
When Big Spring's City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, it will consider an emergency resolution suspending the Nov. 22 effective date of Atmos' proposed rate increase.

Atmos recently filed a proposed rate hike with the state railroad commission which, if approved, would increase the company's annual revenue by $12 million.

Negotiations between the natural gas company and a consortium of West Texas cities (including Big Spring) over the increase hit a snag because Atmos signed agreements with Amarillo and Lubbock for a rate lower than what it is proposing to other communities in the area.

“We are at an impasse right now,” Big Spring City Manager Todd Darden told council members in October. “With regards to Amarillo and Lubbock, the West Texas coalition wants the same rate (Atmos) negotiated with those cities.

“What the coalition is saying is, 'what's fair is fair,'” he added. “We want the same kind of rates (Lubbock and Amarillo) will be paying. All these cities are in the same West Texas division, and we believe they should charge us is what they're charging everybody else in the division.”

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