Democratic Lawmakers Look to Compel Crypto Miners to Disclose Energy and Emissions Data

In a letter to the EPA and Department of Energy, the Senate and House members seemed impatient for more data from miners.

AccessTimeIconFeb 7, 2023 at 4:33 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 7, 2023 at 5:06 p.m. UTC

Eight Democratic lawmakers, including Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are urging the U.S. government to compel crypto miners to disclose their energy consumption data.

In a letter sent on Monday to Secretary of the Department of Energy Jennifer Granholm and administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Michael Regan, the lawmakers said that it is "critical" for a "disclosure regime" to be implemented rapidly and "on a mandatory basis."

Lawmakers, particularly Democrats led by Warren, have been scrutinizing the crypto mining industry's energy usage as well as its impact on the environment and U.S. carbon emissions goals.

The letter asked Granholm when the energy administration will implement a rule that makes it mandatory for firms to disclose energy data, and when the EPA plans to start collecting data from miners that generate more than the annual equivalent of 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide. The EPA has the authority to collect emissions data from all firms above that threshold, and at least two miners, Greenidge Generation (GREE) and Stronghold Digital Mining (SDIG), generated around 10 times more than the minimum in 2021.

However, the two firms have their own fossil fuel power-generation assets, meaning their emissions are not necessarily representative of the industry's.

The lawmakers also asked when the agencies plan to collect and analyze information on the industry's environmental and social impact, as recommended by the White House's Office for Science and Technology Policy in September.

The letter was signed by Senators Warren, Richard J. Durbin (D-Illinois), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), as well as House of Representatives members Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Katie Porter (D-Calif.).

The lawmakers revealed in their letter that the EPA and Energy Dept. had told them of a plan to reach out to miners via lobbying group Digital Chamber of Commerce to train them on how to use Energy Star program’s Portfolio Manager tool, which is often used to benchmark the energy consumption of commercial buildings.


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Eliza Gkritsi

Eliza Gkritsi is a CoinDesk contributor focused on the intersection of crypto and AI.