Environmental groups urge U.S. government to take action against crypto miners

A group of eight environment-focused organizations has called on different government agencies under a Biden administration to implement new approaches to tackle proof-of-work and other crypto mining operations.

In a Monday letter to the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Environmental Working Group, Earth Justice, Greenpeace, Conservation Voters Coalition, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Seneca Lake Guardians and Milwaukee River Guardians urge White House to set policies aimed at curbing “digital currency-dependent electricity use and climate pollution” [PoW]. “Specifically, these groups claim that cryptocurrency mining in the U.S. hurts communities by increasing demand for fossil fuel electricity, threatens supply chain demand for application-specific integrated circuits in drilling rigs, creates large amounts of e-waste, and does not ” Help transition to renewable electricity. “

The eight-member panel proposes that the Environmental Protection Agency conduct “severe scrutiny” of PoW mining companies around operating licenses to “mitigate the hazards of bulk cryptocurrency mining e-waste disposal” and settle claims for noise pollution allegedly caused by mining equipment. Additionally, they asked the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to create a registry for many PoW mining operations so that companies would “disclose their sources and amounts of energy.”

Other proposals include the Department of Energy implementing energy efficiency standards for PoW miners, with restrictions tightening over time to “eventually eliminate” proof-of-work mining. The biggest requests, however, appear to be aimed at the SEC and CFTC, requiring financial regulators to restrict crypto exchanges from listing digital assets that meet certain “environmental and electrical standards,” and to object to “regarding the environmental impact of digital currencies.” .”

“Requiring only registered exchanges to list digital assets whose transactions consume electricity below a certain energy efficiency standard will drive innovation or transition to other verification methods,” the environmental group said.

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As the cryptocurrency space continues to grow among many investors in the U.S., industry leaders and lawmakers have stepped up to address questions about financial risks and Bitcoin’s potential impact on the environment (bitcoin) mining. In April, a group of 23 members of the House of Representatives wrote a letter to the EPA Said that “the rapidly expanding cryptocurrency industry needs to be held accountable” and claimed that “cryptocurrency mining is poisoning our community.”

The Bitcoin Mining Council responded to a letter from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor to EPA Administrator Michael Regan on May 2, saying the group of lawmakers had wrongly addressed several a key question. The industry leader puts the alleged misunderstanding on polluting “generating facilities” rather than BTC mining itself.

The New York state government is currently considering a bill that could impose a two-year ban on all new PoW mining facilities in the state that use carbon-based fuels to power their operations. Both Sierra Club and Seneca Lake Guardian boycott mining companies Greenidge Generation Holdings operations in Seneca Lake, state.