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Investing in Transportation Could Save Billions in Energy Costs

February 20, 2013

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An investment of $79 billion in transportation could translate to $218 billion in energy savings by 2030, according to a report released last week by the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency.

The Alliance's report encourages investment in more productive transportation systems to reduce energy costs and waste.

Alliance Chairs Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and National Grid US President Thomas King emphasized the report's goal of doubling energy productivity by 2030. If achieved, the nation could add 1.3 million jobs, cut average household energy costs, reduce energy imports by more than $100 billion a year, and reduce CO2 emissions by one-third.

"Doubling our energy productivity will yield huge returns for our economy and increase our competitiveness," Warner said in a statement.

The report states that transportation accounts for "28% of U.S energy use and 71% of its oil consumption. The transportation sector has large effects on national energy productivity, environmental protection, and energy security."

Through these measures, the United States can lower its dependence on foreign oil, reduce CO2 levels affecting climate change, and bring the national transportation infrastructure system into the 21st century, according to the report.

The report also addresses cost savings in manufacturing, power grids, and other forms of energy conservation.

Finally, the report suggests congressional action to direct U.S. Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency to create long-term transportation plans for metropolitan areas so that those communities can use energy more efficiently and encourage other forms of transportation such as safe walking, biking, and public transportation.

The 34-page report, "Energy 2030: Doubling U.S Energy Productivity by 2030," is available here.

Published with permission from the AASHTO Journal's Weekly Transportation Report.

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