United States Democrats have actively followed most of cryptocurrency’s major events and activities. The lawmakers’ interests cut across several crypto aspects, such as regulations and controls, operations, functionalities, and energy usage.
Digital asset mining has raised a lot of controversies concerning its environmental threat through pollution and high energy consumption. In a new development, some Democrats, led by Elizabeth Warren, now demand more information from agencies on crypto energy usage in mining.
Lawmakers Wrote To DOE and EPA
Elizabeth Warren and seven other lawmakers recently wrote to Michael Regan, the United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, and Jennifer Granholm, Energy Secretary. In the letter, they requested details on the impact of digital asset mining and energy usage on the environment.
Senators Edward Markey, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Jeff Merkley wrote the letter, with participation from Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Jared Huffman, Richard Durbin, and Katie Porter. Senator Banking Committee member Elizabeth Warren led the Democrats in writing in which they requested that the agencies should respond before March 6.
The lawmakers admitted some responses they previously received from the official correspondence regarding data collection on energy consumption from digital asset mining. Further, they stated that their present demand is just a follow-up from the previous ones.
They want to know the details and the practical process of the agencies’ data collection and how they use the information they receive. So, the lawmakers are throwing a series of questions relevant to practical matters.
One of the issues raised by the Democrats was that the climate crisis is intensifying with the increasing crypto mining operations in the country. So, they see the need for mandatory and comprehensive data collection regarding digital asset activities.
Furthermore, they demanded that the Department of Energy (DOE) and Environment Protection Agency (EPA) should put more effort into the work to ensure they bridge the era of lack of information. Henceforth, it has become mandatory for the two agencies to retrieve timely information from crypto miners on emissions and energy usage in mining.
Additionally, the letter asked the Energy Department for details of its Energy Star program. Also, it raised the issue of technical assistance for communities interested in hosting crypto miners, which the department handles.
One of the letter’s authors, Rep. Jared Huffman, posted the growing concerns about pollution through digital asset mining on Twitter. This prompted the lawmakers to urge the agencies to ensure that digital asset miners maintain transparency in their reports.
Crypto Mining And Environmental Impact
Digital asset mining is essential for protocols running with the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism. It allows miners to create new blocks on blockchains and helps maintain the network’s stability and security.
However, the mining process requires special computational equipment to solve cryptographic puzzles. Such machines consume lots of energy throughout the operational period.
While miners seek to cut down their electricity costs, most resorted to using fossil fuels, bringing environmental pollution threats through high carbon emissions.
The high energy consumption and environmental impact of crypto mining have been major concerns in most jurisdictions. In 2021, China cracked down on crypto mining and declared all digital asset transactions illegal.
However, with the increasing adoption of digital assets, most countries like the US seek to control emissions and energy usage from crypto mining instead of an outright ban.
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