House clears energy efficiency bill

The House sent long-stalled legislation to the president's desk on Tuesday to improve energy efficiency in buildings.

Passed by voice vote, the bill would require the General Services Administration and Department of Energy (DOE) to create a voluntary energy efficiency standard for commercial buildings. 

Additionally, it would exempt certain water heaters from new DOE energy efficiency requirements.

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Lawmakers said the measure would help conserve energy and consumers' money.

"This legislation finds that spot - energy efficiency - where we can join in embracing the enormous benefit of creating ways where homeowners and business  owners of commercial buildings can figure out how to cut down on their bills," said Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). 

The measure, authored by Sens. Rob PortmanRob PortmanDemocrats: We can win on guns The Trail 2016: One large crack in the glass ceiling Portman secures another union endorsement over Democratic challenger in Ohio MORE (R-Ohio) and Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenDemocrats ‘freaked out’ about polls in meeting with Clinton GMO labeling bill advances in the Senate over Dem objections Overnight Defense: US blames ISIS for Turkey attack | Afghan visas in spending bill | Army rolls up its sleeves MORE (D-N.H.), was bogged down in the Senate for more than a year by tensions over unrelated issues. It almost made it to the Senate floor last year for a vote, but Republicans filibustered the bill after then-Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) refused to allow votes on amendments that would, among other things, approve the Keystone XL pipeline and eliminate the health care employer contributions received by lawmakers and their staff under ObamaCare.

Senators finally approved the legislation by voice vote last month after a marathon vote-a-rama on the GOP budget resolution that concluded in the early morning hours. 

 

 

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