Energy efficiency in ethernet connections

I recently read an article about Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) how it's supposed to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 2.85 million metric tons in the US and I wanted to know how this is so, since the article did not discuss how this will be produced.  

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Same idea as most energy efficient devices.  By using less electricity, there is less fuel consumption needed by the generators.

Less coal/gas burned means less CO2

You can find more specifics on the standard here...
I did a brief scan of the standard and it looks like savings come in two parts.

First, idle time power down.  If no information is flowing, the line goes into low power energy saving mode.

Also, devices implementing this will attempt to adjust power based on the distance needed to send a signal.
Current standards assume 100 meter minimum distance, but many installations don't require that much distance
between machines, thus the power requirements to send a  reliable signal can be reduced
The suggested means of saving energy (not power) are very reasonable. The article is not however.
(That statement is a bit overblown)
However an essential element of time is missing from the article. Save 5 million tones over what period of time. If you save 5 million per day you can afford to spend a lot of money to save that much energy. If it is 5 million tone per 100 years the savings is not likely to be cost effective no matter haw urgent co2 saving is.

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