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Can The Energy Bill Come Back After Recess?

Hey, it's the U.S. Senate. What did anyone expect? Harry Reid's now yanking even the stripped-down, hyper-modest energy bill from consideration until after the August recess. Republicans, along with a few Democrats like Mary Landrieu, had strongly opposed the part of the bill that would remove the liability cap for oil companies that spilled crude into the sea.

But is it possible that energy legislation come back stronger than ever? Reid told Greenwire yesterday that, “There's a chance we're going to bring a broader bill.” Right now, the energy bill is limited to oil-spill provisions, plus a bit of money for home-efficiency retrofits, natural-gas powered trucks, and electric cars. At the very least, environmental advocates have been pushing for a renewable-electricity standard for utilities (while John Kerry's still holding out hope for a limited cap-and-trade system). It's hard to imagine that Reid could compile 60 votes for an even stronger bill so soon before the midterms, but that's still a live possibility.