Bitcoin Miners Forced to Report Energy Use in Proposed Bill (1)

  • In Business
  • 2022-12-08 21:15:52Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- US crypto miners would be forced to disclose greenhouse gas emissions under a new bill, adding pressure to a fast-growing industry criticized for its heavy toll on the environment and power grid.

Most Read from Bloomberg

  • Putin Calls Russian Nukes Deterrent Factor, Says War Risk Rising

  • Peru's President Accused of Coup After Move to Dissolve Congress

  • WNBA Star Griner Freed in One-for-One Swap for Arms Dealer

  • Elon Musk's Bankers Consider Tesla Margin Loans to Cut Risky Twitter Debt

  • Why Did So Many US Men Quit Working? Social Status May Hold the Key, Study Says

The legislation, introduced by Democratic Senator Edward Markey, would require crypto miners using more than 5 megawatts of electricity - a threshold that most Bitcoin mining companies would pass - to report emissions and the source of power, according to a copy of the bill shared with Bloomberg News. The US Environmental Protection Agency would conduct a study on the impact of existing and planned digital mining operations - including the level of stress on the energy grid and fossil fuel usage - and offer any measures state regulators can take to reduce their energy demand.

Mining digital currency is energy intensive, with companies including Riot Blockchain Inc. and Argo Blockchain often running thousands of specialized computers around the clock, solving equations that award crypto assets. About 60% of global currency mining is fueled by coal and natural gas, as opposed to renewable energy sources, according to data from Cambridge University's Centre for Alternative Finance. US mining operations produce the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions of 7 million cars on the road for a year, according to a statement from Markey.

After China banned crypto mining last year, US operators raced to set up shop, now accounting for more than one-third of global Bitcoin mining operations, skyrocketing from just 3.5% in 2020. They gravitated to Texas for its business-friendly policies and cheap power, but the explosion of interest has raised concerns that the surge of new electricity demand will strain a power grid already plagued by widespread blackouts last year.

"Ensuring crypto mining companies report their greenhouse gas emissions is a necessary step toward holding them accountable and protecting communities across the country that rely on the grid," Markey, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Markey signed onto a letter from Senator Elizabeth Warren, a fellow Democrat from Massachusetts, asking miners to disclose years of power consumption and emissions, but the responses were limited. The new bill from Markey, co-sponsored by fellow Democrats Representative Jared Huffman and Senator Jeff Merkley and endorsed by several sustainability-focused groups including the Sierra Club, would appropriate $5 million in 2023.

Markey is pushing for hearings in key committees on the issue, a spokesperson for the senator said.

"We would welcome legislation of this nature as long as the bill holds other industries to the same standard," Lee Bratcher, president of industry group Texas Blockchain Council, said in a statement. The group disputed that digital currency mining takes up an outsize amount of energy.

(Updates with comments in the last two paragraphs.)

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

  • Airbus Is Coming for Boeing's 737

  • China Is the Wild Card for Global Inflation in 2023

  • The Cult of the Retail Trader Has Fizzled

  • The Viral List That Turned a Yale Professor Into an Enemy of the Russian State

  • The Club With a 60,000-Woman Waitlist

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.


More Related News

Sunak Says UK Can
Sunak Says UK Can't Raise Taxes to End Dispute With Nurses
  • World
  • 2023-01-30 12:21:15Z

(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he cannot raise UK taxes to fund pay rises for workers in the state-run National Health Service. Most Read...

China Urges Kevin McCarthy Not to Repeat Pelosi Visit to Taiwan
China Urges Kevin McCarthy Not to Repeat Pelosi Visit to Taiwan
  • World
  • 2023-01-30 10:06:44Z

(Bloomberg) -- China called on US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy not to visit Taiwan, raising the specter of a repeat of the showdown last year when his...

European Gas Prices Swing as Traders Track Demand, Stockpiles
European Gas Prices Swing as Traders Track Demand, Stockpiles

(Bloomberg) -- European natural gas fluctuated as the return of warmer weather keeps a lid on heating demand, even as cheaper fuel brings the possibility of ...

Malaysia's Anwar Vows Gradual Debt Reduction to Ensure Stability

(Bloomberg) -- Malaysia's Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said his government will work to gradually lower the nation's debt and narrow the budget gap, without ...

Spanish Inflation Unexpectedly Jumps After Months of Easing
Spanish Inflation Unexpectedly Jumps After Months of Easing

(Bloomberg) -- Spanish inflation unexpectedly quickened, snapping five months of slowdowns, prompting traders to boost bets on how high the European Central ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Business