On Dec. 8, 2022, three Democratic politicians from Massachusetts, Oregon, and California revealed legislation aimed at combatting “energy-intensive” cryptocurrency mining operations. The bill introduced by senator Ed Markey (D-MA) alleges that crypto mining “strains the grid” and the industry “undermines U.S. climate goals.”
3 U.S. Bureaucrats Believe Crypto Miners Need to Report Carbon Emissions and Environmental Assessments
Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-ORE), and Jared Huffman (D-CA) have introduced a bill that would require “an interagency study on the environmental and energy impacts of crypto asset mining.” Markey’s press release concerning the “Crypto Asset Environmental Transparency Act” details that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would lead the study.
Furthermore, the EPA would assess crypto mining activity in the U.S. and operations would be required to report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Crypto mining companies required to report GHG emissions would be “operations that consume more than 5 megawatts of power,” the press release details.
“Big-money [crypto mining] companies are undermining decades of progress in our fight against climate change by putting profits over the promise of our clean energy future – jeopardizing the reliability and safety of our grid in the process and making it all the more likely for utilities to raise energy prices on working families,” senator Markey said on Thursday.
Representative Jared Huffman said the bill would finally pull “the curtain back on this industry.” Huffman added:
The time for transparency, oversight, and accountability is now.
The bureaucrats’ bill aims to combat so-called climate change, a narrative that U.S. politicians and leaders worldwide have been pushing for years. Markey’s opinions follow a number of studies and research reports that indicate operations like bitcoin (BTC) mining are actually advantageous, not only for relieving the grids leveraged but also removing carbon emissions.
For instance, the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analyst, Daniel Batten, published a report that claims bitcoin mining could eliminate the world’s carbon emissions by 5.32%. On Nov. 29, 2022, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) published a report that shows bitcoin mining is beneficial to the Texas grid. ERCOT’s study indicates that bitcoin mining operations in Texas could curtail 1.7 gigawatts (GW) of energy during the Texas winter.
Bitcoin mining is also known to mitigate flare gas (the release of raw gas into the atmosphere) and landfill gas. In the press release published on Thursday, however, U.S. senator Merkley argued that “Crypto asset mining consumes massive amounts of electricity” and stressed “most of which is generated by burning fossil fuels.” However, various studies over the years indicate that a majority of bitcoin mining operations are driven by renewable energy sources.
The bureaucrats’ act is endorsed by the Sierra Club, Earthjustice, Environmental Working Group, and Seneca Lake Guardian. “Digital assets that rely on proof-of-work are wasteful by design,” Scott Faber, the senior vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group said in a statement. “Strong federal regulations must address” the situation, Earthjustice’s clean energy attorney Mandy DeRoche added.