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Crypto miners are now in the crosshairs of US legislators.
A crypto mining bill that pushes for transparency on gas emissions data is being pushed back in Congress, courtesy of U.S. Sen. Edward Markey and Rep. Jared Huffman.
The bill is being reintroduced in advance of a hearing on the environmental impact of crypto mining scheduled for Tuesday.
Crypto Mining Bill To Mandate Study On Emissions Impact
First proposed in December, the Crypto-Asset Environmental Transparency Act would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to investigate the effects of large-scale crypto mining operations on global warming.
The study would cost $5 million, and its results would be made public within 18 months of the bill’s approval.
The miners would also be obligated to provide their emissions data.
Markey named 16 public groups, including Greenpeace USA and the National Stop Crypto Coalition, as major proponents of the bill.
Growing Concerns About Impact Of Crypto Mining
Crypto mining can have a negative impact on the environment, depending on the source of energy used to power the mining operations.
The energy consumption of crypto mining is significant and can be compared to that of a small country.
According to some estimates, the Bitcoin network alone consumes more energy than the entire country of Argentina.
The majority of crypto mining is done using fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. This energy consumption also puts a strain on the local power grids, leading to blackouts and other issues.
However, some crypto miners have started to use renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, to reduce their carbon footprint. Additionally, there are initiatives to develop more energy-efficient mining hardware and software to reduce energy consumption.
Consistent Critics Of Crypto Miners
Several legislators, including Markey and Huffman, wrote to EPA Administrator Michael Regan and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in February, requesting that the two departments collaborate on a solution to the lack of data regarding cryptomining’s energy use and ecological consequences.
Also, they all agreed to sign a letter addressed to the CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, requesting data on the state of Texas’s crypto miners and related energy consumption and environmental impact. These two letters’ primary author is Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Senator Markey will soon preside over a meeting of the Senate’s Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee. At that gathering, attendees will discuss the pressing need to take action against the “growing environmental impacts of cryptomining.”
-Featured image from Coinbase
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