Democrats and Republicans are joining hands backing energy-efficiency programs, and the Obama administration is taking notice.
The White House announced Tuesday that it will extend a presidential memorandum calling on federal agencies to achieve $2 billion in energy savings during a two-year period.
The initiative, which has led agencies to identify an estimated $2.3 billion in savings through the implementation of energy-efficiency measures in federal buildings, began in 2011 and was set to expire this year. The program will now continue through 2016.
The decision arrives amid a groundswell of support in Congress for energy-efficiency efforts.
Last month, Reps. Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., led a bipartisan coalition of 118 House members and 28 senators in a request that the president extend the initiative. In a letter, the coalition asked the White House to grant a five-year, $5 billion extension of the program.
Welch and Gardner have also introduced legislation that would direct agencies to enter into $1 billion worth of performance contracts annually for five years to boost efficiency in federal buildings.
Reacting to the news that the president would extend the initiative, Welch applauded the decision but commented that the executive branch’s effort should be paired with legislative action. He also said he will work with Gardner to press the administration for a specified target amount in savings.
“The White House initiative needs to have a specific goal,” Welch said. “A concrete goal tends to get better results and it’s much more likely to succeed if we have both a concrete goal and a legislative commitment as well.”
Welch also said he believes the president’s decision will increase momentum to pass an energy-efficiency bill in Congress. “It’s great to see the administration signaling its commitment to this issue. We have the White House backing this and we have broad bipartisan support which is really rare to see right now,” he commented.
What We're Following See More »
If a new poll is to be believed, Hillary Clinton has a big lead in the all-important swing state of Pennsylvania. A new Suffolk University survey shows her ahead of Donald Trump, 50%-41%. In a four-way race, she maintains her nine-point lead, 46%-37%. "Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in the past six presidential elections, going back to Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992. Yet it is a rust belt state that could be in play, as indicated by recent general-election polling showing a close race."
"President Barack Obama has chosen Jackson Park, a lakefront park that once hosted the world’s fair on the city’s South Side, for his $500 million presidential library, according to a person familiar with the matter."
Wednesday was the third night in a row that the Democratic convention enjoyed a ratings win over the Republican convention last week. Which might have prompted a fundraising email from Donald Trump exhorting supporters not to watch. "Unless you want to be lied to, belittled, and attacked for your beliefs, don't watch Hillary's DNC speech tonight," the email read. "Instead, help Donald Trump hold her accountable, call out her lies and fight back against her nasty attacks."
The Clintons will retain their Secret Service "code names from the last time they lived in the White House. Hillary Clinton is EVERGREEN and Bill ClintonEAGLE. Donald Trump is MOGUL, according to reports, and Melania Trump MUSE. The vice presidents get code names, too: Mike Pence is HOOSIER—a little on the nose—and his wife HUMMINGBIRD. Tim Kaine is DAREDEVIL, somewhat ambitiously. His wife's? To be determined."