Obama signs energy efficiency bill into law

President Obama on Thursday signed into law a measure that is intended to improve energy efficiency in buildings and stop efficiency rules for certain water heaters.

The measure had strong bipartisan support and easily passed the Senate in March and the House in April.

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It creates new voluntary building efficiency standards and exempts certain grid-enabled water heaters from efficiency regulations.

Obama brought to the White House energy efficiency advocates and the leading congressional backers of the legislation, including Sens. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOvernight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open Reddit hires first lobbyists Senate panel approves bill compelling researchers to ‘hack’ DHS MORE (R-Ohio) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenHomeland Security searching some social media doesn't violate privacy The feds shouldn't blackball Kaspersky without public evidence Week ahead: Crunch time for defense bill’s cyber reforms | Equifax under scrutiny MORE (D-N.H.), for the signing ceremony, along with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

“What we’ve seen is a coming together of Republicans and Democrats who are going to facilitate us being much smarter in terms of building buildings, how we use energy and, as a consequence, we’re going to save money for consumers, we’re going to save money for businesses, and we’re going to deal with issues like climate change that have an enormous economic and health impact on Americans as a whole,” Obama said before signing the bill, according to the White House.

The provisions contained in the bill were once part of a much broader energy efficiency package that Portman and Shaheen pushed in the last Congress with bipartisan support, but that got caught up in a fight over the Keystone XL oil pipeline and never passed.

Shaheen said she was glad to have the smaller measure signed into law.

“It’s always tough to convince Washington to not play politics with a good idea,” she said in a statement. “But persistence has paid-off and this legislation is a small but significant victory over legislative gridlock.”