Manufacturing is a large consumer of energy. Details on exactly how large, and which sectors are the most significant users, are available in EPA's first report on this angle, "Energy Trends in Selected Manufacturing Sectors," released April 10, 2007. Press release.
The report covers 12 sectors that account for 85% of US industrial energy use. Along with energy consumption, the report covers the handful of criteria air pollutants (though not the hundreds of chemicals considered toxics) and carbon dioxide. Water and land impacts aren't addressed.
In order to help reduce continuing increases in energy use and pollution, the report also evaluates each sector, and makes recommendations on the most effective ways to tackle various problems. In the cement industry, there is high potential for process improvements and equipment retrofitting and replacement. The chemical industry has similar high potential through use of combined heat and power. Research and development have high potential to improve the iron and steel industry. Other sectors covered include aluminum, food manufacturing, forest products, metal casting and finishing, vehicle and vehicle part manufacturing, petroleum refining, and shipbuilding.
The detail provided in the report can be helpful when writing about any existing or proposed individual or collective manufacturing development in your community.
In addition, the report's explorations of policy and regulatory strategies that could remove impediments to improvements likely will be worth watching closely, since changes may also lead to expected and unexpected effects that could be a concern for some in your audience.