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Why is energy efficiency important?

Becoming more energy efficient is an important first step to reduce our impact on the environment.  Energy efficiency is also a non-controversial issue; improving efficiency means encouraging innovation and technology, creating jobs, reducing our dependence on non-renewable resources, and saving money.  Legislation focused on energy efficiency doesn’t promote an overhaul of our current energy system; rather it aims at improving our current practices to make us use less energy which lasts longer. 

The industrial and transportation sectors are the largest consumers of energy in the U.S. economy.  Increasing fuel efficiency in these sectors can have a dramatic impact on the environment.  The standards set in April 2010 will increase fuel efficiency in cars by raising the gas mileage standard to 35 mpg by 2016.  This standard is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 960 million metric tons over the lifetime of the vehicles regulated—which is the equivalent of removing 50 million cars and light trucks from the road in 2030.