Lubbock City Leaders May Join 65 Cities to Fight Atmos Energy - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/9/05

Lubbock City Leaders May Join 65 Cities to Fight Atmos Energy

Thursday night we told you how Atmos needs to charge more to pay for $7.6 million in extra expenses. The city council next week may a coalition of 65 other Texas cities who are trying to keep Atmos from raising rates.

One of those cities is Snyder. City officials in Snyder tell NewsChannel 11 they feel that Atmos could not justify why they needed to charge customers more money. Snyder city council denied Atmos their rate request on Monday.

Atmos says they need the money to recover $3 million spent on moving pipes for the Marsha Sharp Freeway. But we also found documents that list other reimbursement items. It is for money spent on office supplies for their Amarillo and Dallas offices. Atmos wants Lubbock customers to pay for that.

"Lubbock customers are served by the call center in Amarillo. Therefore, Lubbock customers should pay for their share of the service received," said Bill Guy, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Atmos Energy.

By state law, Atmos is entitled to recover their costs through rate increases, called GRIP filings.

Austin attorney, Geoffrey Gay says Atmos's application does not comply with the law.  "The cities needs to curtail this abusive practice.  That's the effort of Snyder and other cities to bring the company in and review all the rates," said Gay.

The city council meets next Thursday to decide a plan of action. We're told no mater what decision the council makes, it is likely Atmos will appeal their decision to the Texas Railroad Commission.

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