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Environment
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President Signs Scaled-Back Energy Bill Backed By Shaheen

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Allegra Boverman for NHPR
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President Barack Obama has signed a scaled back version of an energy efficiency bill co-authored by New Hampshire Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

The bill, co-sponsored by New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte, aims to cut energy use in commercial buildings, manufacturing plants and homes. It includes the Better Buildings Act, which Ayotte first introduced in 2013.

The measure was popular with both parties. But it was defeated last year after becoming enmeshed in a partisan fight over the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Shaheen testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this morning on the expanded bill, which has not yet passed Congress.

Shaheen says bill that passed is still a good one.

“Energy efficiency is the low-hanging fruit of energy usage,” she says. “Since the 1970s we’ve reduced our overall energy use by about 60% because of energy efficiency. So everything we can do to move us in that direction is helpful.”

Shaheen says her goal now is work for passage of the more comprehensive energy bill.

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