US Representative Members Write to EPA Over Negative Impact of PoW Mining Activities on the Environment

Updated:

Last Wednesday, 23 US Representative members, led by Jared Huffman (D-CA), forwarded a joint letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan over cryptocurrency mining operations in the US.

Rep. Huffman is the chair of the United States House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife and a member of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

Huffman detailed on Thursday that the letter called for “increased oversight of cryptocurrency’s environmental impacts.” In the letter, the legislators noted:

“We have serious concerns regarding reports that cryptocurrency facilities across the country are polluting communities and are having an outsized contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.”

One of the lawmakers’ claims asserted that proof-of-work (PoW) mining activities contribute to “significant greenhouse gas emissions” and “results in major electronic waste challenges due to the highly specialized and short-lived computing hardware needed to secure the network.” They also noted that “the industry needs to be held accountable for this waste and discouraged from creating it.”

Proposing alternatives to the problem, the lawmakers noted that “less energy-intensive cryptocurrency mining technologies, such as ‘Proof-of-Stake’ (PoS), are available.”

Explaining that communities situated close to cryptocurrency mining facilities “have reported significant noise pollution,” the legislators noted that “it is critically important that the EPA uses these authorities to adequately protect communities across the US being disrupted by these cryptocurrency facilities.” The Rep. members concluded:

“We request that the EPA evaluate ‘Proof-of-Work’ mining facilities’ compliance with environmental statutes, such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, and engage with the communities when reviewing permits.

Further, we ask that the EPA investigate and address any harm these existing PoW facilities are causing communities.”

US Representative Members’ Claims Untrue?

However, many of the claims that Bitcoin is harmful to the environment have been debunked time and again. For instance, Ark Invest has asserted multiple times, that Bitcoin mining is a net positive for the environment and that worries of the BTC’s energy consumption are “misguided.” Also, Galaxy Digital published a report in May 2021 that showed that the banking industry consumes significantly more energy than Bitcoin.

 

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.