US Democrats Ask Regulators to Crack Down on Crypto Mining

Six Congress members wrote to the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about how crypto mining is bad for the environment.

The senators did their research and found that miners make much more coal and release “substantial amounts of carbon.”

Some places, like New York, want to stop proof-of-work crypto mining for two years, and others are thinking about doing the same.

Democrats in Congress have asked two government agencies to do something about Bitcoin mining because it uses more energy.

Senators were worried about how much energy crypto mining companies were using. The energy the seven largest crypto mining companies used was enough to power all the homes in Houston, Texas.

Concerned legislators said that this problem is made worse because each company has made complicated plans to increase production capacity even though carbon emissions are still a problem.

Six lawmakers, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren, have asked the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Michael Regan, and the head of the Department of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, to work together to slow down the growing industry.

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Democrats Blame the Rise on the Ban on China

The senators pointed out that cryptocurrency operations in the U.S. went up after the Chinese government cracked down on crypto in the summer of 2021. This was because miners moved to the U.S. from China.

Over a third of the global computing power dedicated to mining Bitcoin is now drawn from miners in the U.S., in part due to a government crackdown in China last year.”

Lawmakers asked the two agencies to explain in writing by August 15 what gives them the right to gather information from mining companies.

New York Has Already Had Enough

Energy prices in New York have gone up because of what crypto miners have been doing, which forced the city to ban crypto mining for the first time in 18 months.

A recent study from Berkeley found that small businesses’ annual electric bills went up by $165 million because cryptocurrency mining operations in upstate New York needed a lot of power.

This is hardly the first time Congress has told Federal agencies to look into what mining companies are doing. In April, Jared Huffman and 22 other members of Congress told the EPA what they thought about how mining for cryptocurrency hurts the environment.

Bitcoin supporters like Michael Saylor and Jack Dorsey responded to the letter by defending crypto mining and trying to “debunk the myths.” Some mining companies use old coal waste to power their plants, while others use gas that has been burned off to do the same.

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