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Natural gas rates to rise for Atmos customers in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Natural gas rates are going up for customers of Mississippi's largest gas utility.

The Mississippi Public Service Commission on Tuesday approved plans for Dallas-based Atmos Energy Corp. to raise rates on its 260,000 Mississippi customers.

Rates for a yardstick residential customer should go up by about $2 a month, with most of the money going to pay for Atmos to repair and replace aging pipes and infrastructure.

Some of the money will go toward a program to expand natural gas to industries in rural areas.

Separately, Atmos will spend $5 million next year with the goal of adding 1,000 residential customers. That effort has been advocated by Public Service Commission Chairman Brandon Presley, a Democrat representing Mississippi's northern third. Presley says access to natural gas save those residents money.

This story has been corrected to show the rate increase will be used for industrial expansion, but not for residential expansion.