Missouri Senate committee advances utilities rate proposal

Missouri Senate committee advances utilities rate proposal

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri Senate committee has advanced a proposal that would allow some companies that use a lot of electricity to negotiate lower rates.

The committee advanced a proposal Thursday after hearing a state Public Service Commission analysis that said average consumers wouldn't see significant rate increases under most scenarios.

The bill is intended to bring a new steel mill and to entice a company to partially open an old aluminum smelter near New Madrid. It would allow the companies to negotiate lower electrical rates for a 10-year contract.

The analysis said that consumer rates wouldn't significantly change over 10 years if the steel mill opens. But if inflation remains consistently high, customers could see a maximum $54 increase per year after 10 years if the aluminum smelter resumes operations.

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