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As most Democratic senators go after Big Oil, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., is going after the lower-hanging fruit of energy efficiency.  

Carper will introduce legislation on Wednesday that would require the federal government to be more energy efficient. He introduced a similar bill on Earth Day 2010. The Reducing Federal Energy Dollars Act includes proposals to improve accountability and transparency of energy and water consumption, update federal energy efficiency building standards, and require more efficient use of federal computers, according to a draft of the bill obtained by National Journal Daily.  

“Given the tremendous budget challenges we face, we need to look at every nook and cranny of the federal government for savings,” Carper said. “My bill would not only help agencies save money but also allow the federal government to lead by example in becoming more environmentally sustainable and less reliant on foreign sources of energy.”  

The federal government is the biggest single energy consumer in the country; in 2008, it accounted for 1.5 percent of all U.S. energy consumption and paid an energy bill of $24.5 billion, according to Carper’s office.  

Carper isn’t the only lawmaker pushing energy efficiency legislation. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., introduced an appliance efficiency bill earlier this year, and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., has been working on a wide-ranging plan to boost energy efficiency.