US lawmakers appeal directly to 4 mining companies, asking for information on energy consumption

Four members of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce have demanded answers from four major crypto ...



Four members of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce have demanded answers from four major crypto mining companies regarding the potential effects of their energy consumption on the environment.

In letters dated Wednesday to Core Scientific, Marathon Digital Holdings, Riot Blockchain and Stronghold Digital Mining, US lawmakers Frank Pallone, Bobby Rush, Diana DeGette and Paul Tonko demand companies provide information from 2021 including power consumption of their mining facilities, the source of that energy, the percentage coming from renewable energy sources and the frequency with which the companies reduced their activities. The four members of the House committee also asked what was the average cost per megawatt hour that companies were spending crypto mining at each of their respective facilities.

“Blockchain technology holds immense promise that can make our personal information more secure and the economy more efficient,” said lawmakers in a letter to Riot CEO Jason Les. “However, the energy consumption and hardware required to support PoW-based cryptocurrencies can, in some cases, produce serious externalities in the form of harmful emissions and excess e-waste.”

The request follows US President Joe Biden’s signing of the Cut Inflation Act on Tuesday, a bill considered by many experts to be the biggest piece of legislation in the fight against climate change. The bill included incentives to support and develop green energy projects, including clean transportation and “climate-smart” manufacturing.

“Given the existential threat posed by the climate crisis, we are deeply concerned about efforts such as [Proof-of-Work mining] that increase demand for fossil fuels, with the potential to put further strain on our energy grid.”

Related: Green and Gold: Crypto Projects Saving the Planet

Whether discussing its environmental or economic impact, cryptocurrency remains in the spotlight among many governments, both in the United States and abroad. In April, 23 U.S. lawmakers sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agencyurging Administrator Michael Regan to assess crypto-mining companies that may violate environmental laws.