In the USA, it was proposed to study the impact of bitcoin mining on the environment

25.06.2023, 17:37
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US lawmakers have introduced a bill that requires the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a comprehensive study of the impact of the mining industry on the environment.
In the USA, it was proposed to study the impact of bitcoin mining on the environment

The Agency must also report on greenhouse gas emissions from industrial facilities with a power consumption of more than 5 MW.
The bill was sponsored by Member of the House of Representatives Jared Hoffman and Senator Edward Markey. They noted that the share of bitcoin mining in total electricity consumption in the United States has already reached 1.4%. This volume is enough to cover all households in the country.

According to them, the industry produces as much greenhouse gas emissions as seven million gasoline-powered cars.

"Cryptomining facilities not only undermine our efforts to combat the climate crisis, but can also pollute nearby communities. Granting this industry impunity for causing such harm to the environment is contrary to numerous federal policies, and we must understand all the harm that this industry represents," Hoffman said.

Senator Jeff Merkley stressed that mining companies consume a huge amount of electricity, most of which is generated by burning fossil fuels. The activities of these enterprises lead to an increase in energy tariffs and volumes of electronics waste.

 

The authors of the bill believe that the negative impact of bitcoin on the environment is due to the use of the consensus algorithmProof-of-Work. They cited the example of the Ethereum blockchain, which reduced electricity consumption by 99.9% afterswitching to Proof-of-Stake.

The bill was supported by public organizations Sierra Club, Earthjustice, Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Seneca Lake Guardian.
The vice-president of the latter, Yvonne Taylor, said that the cryptomining industry is growing, "threatening all communities in the country." She recalled that the organization has achieved moratorium on cryptocurrency miningon fossil fuel energy in New York state.

"Earlier this year we won our campaignto deny permission to expand Greenidge Generation, a large bitcoin farm, damaging Seneca Lake, our local economy and climate," she added.

Taylor believes that the "climate-killing" cryptomining needs to be fought at the federal level.

"Incentives embedded in digital assets such as bitcoin require more and more electricity, not less, at a time when we all need to use it more efficiently. We are grateful to Senator Markey for making the climate and energy impacts of cryptocurrency mining a priority," EWG Vice President Scott Faber said.

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