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Congress Passes Bipartisan Bill to Improve Energy Efficiency

Congress on Tuesday passed a bill focused on improving energy efficiency in buildings and water heaters, a move celebrated by both parties for breaking longstanding partisan gridlock.

The bill, which President Obama is expected to sign into law this week, is a modest one. But its authors, Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, and Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, who had worked together for years on more ambitious energy-saving legislation, called it a significant victory.

“On the bill’s merits — creating jobs, saving consumers money and reducing pollution — it was never a hard sell,” Ms. Shaheen said. “The tough part was convincing Washington to not play politics with a good idea.”

Mr. Portman said, “Our targeted energy efficiency bill has garnered widespread support because of a simple fact: It is good for the economy and good for the environment.”

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