More than 100 lawmakers push Obama on energy efficiency extension

A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers is calling on the Obama administration to continue its energy efficiency initiatives for federal buildings.

The group of 117 House members and 22 senators wants Obama to grant a five-year extension of the project, which began in 2011.

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Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) spearheaded the effort, touting the importance of energy efficiency in a letter released Wednesday — 70 Democrats and 47 Republicans in the House signed it.

"As the original two-year time frame of the federal building initiative draws to a conclusion, we urge you to extend the goal for performance contracting by the federal government," lawmakers wrote.

"Specifically, we request a new Presidential initiative setting goal of $1 billion a year for the next five years for the federal government to utilize performance contracts to achieve energy savings."

Obama's 2011 executive order jumpstarted a two-year campaign to achieve $2 billion in energy savings in federal buildings. The initiative helped cut back on the federal government's energy usage.

Federal facilities use more than $6 billion worth of energy annually.

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