Democratic lawmakers want federal regulators to track crypto mining energy use and emissions

Congressional Democrats are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy to address the recent spread of cryptocurrency mining in the US. In a broadcast Friday (via ), Senator Elizabeth Warren and five other lawmakers said the two agencies should work together to require crypto mining companies to disclose their energy use and emissions.

The request comes after the group recently completed one that started earlier this year. According to the letter, data from seven of the largest mining companies in the U.S., including Stronghold, Bitfury and Riot, indicates they can collectively consume more than 1 gigawatt of electricity. In other words, that’s almost enough to power all of Houston’s residential buildings.

Warren and the other lawmakers say they’re concerned about what all that power consumption will mean for the environment and consumers. Regarding the former, they state that emissions data from three of the companies surveyed shows that they emit around 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to the tailpipe emissions of almost 360,000 cars. “Bitcoin miners consume massive amounts of electricity that could be used for other priority end uses that contribute to our electrification and climate goals, such as B. replacing household stoves with heat pumps,” the letter reads.

On the latter point, lawmakers cite a 2021 study that estimated that crypto mining in New York State has added about $165 million to annual utility bills for small businesses and $79 million for consumers . Additionally, they say their research doesn’t even scratch the surface of crypto mining’s full impact on electricity consumption and emissions in the US. “None of the companies provided full and complete information in response to our questions,” they note.

“The results of our investigation, which collected data from just seven companies, are troubling as this limited data alone shows that crypto miners are large energy consumers responsible for a significant – and rapidly growing – amount of carbon emissions,” it says in the letter. By requiring crypto mining companies to disclose their energy use and emissions, the EPA and Department of Energy could provide lawmakers with better data to help make future policy decisions. Agencies have until August 15 to respond to the request.

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https://www.engadget.com/democratic-lawmakers-want-crypto-miners-to-disclose-energy-use-emissions-214551420.html?src=rss Democratic lawmakers want federal regulators to track crypto mining energy use and emissions

Russell Falcon

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