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      Public Service Commission likely to deny $50 million rate cut

      State utility regulators have indicated they will deny a request by Ameren Missouri's largest customer for a rate decrease of nearly $50 million a year, despite warnings from the company that it could be forced to close without the reduction.

      The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that all five members of the Missouri Public Service Commission said Wednesday they opposed lowering the special rate paid by Noranda Aluminum.

      But on Thursday the Missouri Office of Public Counsel, which advocates for retail ratepayers in front of the commission, submitted a proposal that would reduce Noranda's rate by 16 percent, rather than roughly 25 percent the company initially sought.