Obama signs long-delayed bill to boost energy efficiency in commercial buildings, homes

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has signed long-delayed legislation to boost energy efficiency in buildings.

Obama signed the bill into law Thursday in the Oval Office. He was surrounded by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

The law aims to cut energy use in commercial buildings, manufacturing plants and homes.

Obama says he hopes it will lead to more progress on environmental issues. He says it’s an area where Washington could make a big impact and create jobs.

The measure was popular in both parties but was defeated last year after becoming enmeshed in a political fight over the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The bill exempts some energy-efficient water heaters from pending Energy Department rules. It also requires federal agencies to increase energy efficiency in federal buildings, among other provisions.