Regulation

US legislators renew call for EPA investigation of crypto mining emissions data

United States Senator Edward Markey and Representative Jared Huffman announced on March 3 that they would reintroduce the Crypto-Asset Environmental Transparency Act in Congress. The move comes ahead of a Senate hearing on the environmental impact of crypto mining, which Markey will chair on March 7.

Markey and Huffman first introduced the bill in December, in the previous Congress. Senator Jeff Merkley acted as a co-sponsor in the Senate.

The bill would require crypto mining companies to disclose emissions for operations that consume more than 5 megawatts of power and require the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to head up an interagency investigation of the impact of crypto mining in the United States. That investigation would have a $5 million budget and publish its findings within 18 months of the passage of the bill.

Markey listed 16 public organizations that support the bill, including such groups as the Sierra Club, Greenpeace USA and the National Stop Crypto Coalition. He said in a statement:

“Crypto miners are sucking megawatt after megawatt from our public grids and emitting skyrocketing greenhouse gasses, just so they can make a buck for themselves. We can’t afford to let this industry run roughshod over our communities any longer.”

Markey will soon chair a meeting of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. That meeting will be “focused on the urgent need to crack down on the growing environmental impacts of cryptomining,” Markey stated.

Related: Bitcoin miners rebut claims made by US Democratic legislators to EPA administrator

Markey and Huffman were among the Democratic lawmakers who wrote to EPA Administrator Michael Regan and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in February asking that their agencies “work together to address the lack of information about cryptomining’s energy use and environmental impacts.” They also signed a letter to the CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas asking for information on crypto mining’s energy usage and environmental impact in Texas. Senator Elizabeth Warren was the lead author of both letters.

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