With hopes fading, lawmakers meet on energy bill

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Fading Congressional efforts to approve the first major energy bill in nearly a decade have been revived — for now. Lawmakers convened a long-delayed meeting Thursday aimed at finding a bipartisan agreement by the end of the year.

    Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska acknowledged that the election-year bill faces long odds, but urged her colleagues to "prove the skeptics wrong" and "succeed where so many anticipate we'll fail."

    Murkowski chairs the Senate Energy Committee and is among nearly 50 lawmakers from both parties who serve on a joint House-Senate panel tasked with developing an energy bill.

    The bill's prospects have dimmed amid partisan disputes over oil drilling, water for drought-stricken California and potential rollback of protections for the gray wolf and other wildlife, among other issues.

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