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Europe Is Running Out of Time to Act on Gas Before Winter

  • Bloc still can’t agree on what a price cap should mean
  • As warm weather eases gas prices, the sense of urgency fades

European ministers pulled off what one diplomat called a miracle in July when they took just six days to agree to slash gas demand. Ever since, the bloc’s timelines have been slipping, and it now looks unlikely key new measures will be in place for winter.

Ministers set another new deadline when they met on Tuesday, and now aim to clinch a deal on the latest batch of proposals to tame energy prices on Nov. 24 -- well into the heating season. But even if they manage it, key measures like a new market benchmark won’t kick in until the spring. Plans for price caps remain mired in technical details and political wrangling.