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Biden administration contemplates forcing Bitcoin miners to reveal pollution data

Biden administration contemplates forcing Bitcoin miners to reveal pollution data
Paul L.

United States Democratic lawmakers are intensifying their efforts for crypto mining companies to reveal their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions as the industry grows.

The lawmakers are pushing federal agencies to take action in forcing mining companies involved in assets such as Bitcoin (BTC) to reveal the necessary data on energy consumption, The Verge reported on February 7. 

In this line, the Democrats have written to the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to accelerate their plans to require crypto mining companies to report their energy consumption and emissions. According to the letter, the agencies have the clear authority to require disclosures from crypto mining firms.

The letter asks for a timeline for each agency’s plans to use its authority and begin collecting the necessary information. 

“We urge you to use those authorities to implement a mandatory disclosure regime as rapidly as possible,” said the letter. 

Notably, the letter was signed by Senators Elizabeth Warren, Sheldon Whitehouse, Ed Markey, Jeff Merkley, Dick Durbin, and Representatives Jared Huffman, Katie Porter, and Rashida Tlaib. 

Need for full disclosure 

It is worth noting that the EPA had initially informed lawmakers that it has the authority to collect pollution data from facilities emitting at least 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year under the Clean Air Act. Two crypto mining companies have been found to fall under this category and already report their emissions. 

Indeed, in the letter to the agencies, the lawmakers requested the EPA to clarify if all crypto operations meeting the 25,000-ton limit are listed and when they plan to do so, with a deadline of March 6. 

The letter is the latest development in a campaign that started last year when the lawmakers asked the largest crypto mining companies to provide information on their energy consumption and pollution. While some data was provided, the companies still needed to respond entirely to the lawmakers’ questions, leading to the request for the DOE and EPA to enforce mandatory disclosure. 

Regulating crypto 

At the same time, the impact of Bitcoin mining on the environment has been a center of focus as the U.S. moves towards regulating the sector. Therefore, the President Joe Biden administration released a report indicating that the crypto industry’s operations may consume approximately the same amount of electricity as all home computers in the country, 

Finally, the report recommended that the EPA and the DOE collaborate to establish performance standards encouraging crypto companies to adopt clean energy and reduce overall energy consumption. 

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