A bill filed by Senators Ed Markey (Democrat from Massachusetts), Jeff Merkley (Democrat from Oregon), and Jared Huffman (Democrat from California) would mandate an interagency investigation on the effects of mining crypto assets on the environment and energy use. According to Markey’s news release about the “Crypto Asset Environmental Transparency Act,” it would be overseen by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Additionally, the EPA would examine the country’s crypto mining activity, and businesses would have to report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. According to the press release, operations that use more than 5 megawatts of power would be forced to submit their GHG emissions to the government.
Senator Markey claimed on Thursday that large cryptocurrency mining companies are adversely affecting decades of progress in the fight against climate change by prioritizing profits over the promise of a clean energy future, endangering the dependability and safety of our grid and increasing the likelihood that utilities will raise energy prices for working families.
However, according to a study by environmental, social, and governance (ESG) expert Daniel Batten, bitcoin mining might reduce global carbon emissions by 5.32%. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) released a report on November 29, 2022, demonstrating that bitcoin mining benefits the Texas system. According to a study by ERCOT, Texas bitcoin mining businesses might use less electricity during the winter by 1.7 GW.
Flare gas and landfill gas (waste gas that is released in air during natural gas mining) are known to be used for Bitcoin mining activities. U.S. senator Merkley underlined that the majority of the electricity used in crypto asset mining comes from burning fossil fuels in a press release that was released on Thursday. However, numerous studies conducted over the years show that the vast majority of bitcoin mining companies use renewable energy.
The Environmental Working Group, Sierra Club, Earthjustice, and Seneca Lake Guardian all support the bureaucrats’ act. The Environmental Working Group’s Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs, claimed in a statement that digital assets that depend on proof-of-work are wasteful by design.