Bitcoin Boosters Defend Mining to EPA, Blame Power Producers
Bitcoin boosters and businesses put up a united front in defending mining practices after lawmakers came together asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take a closer look at the potential impact of cryptocurrency mining on the environment.
MicroStrategy Inc. chief Michael Saylor and dozens of other industry leaders including Block's Jack Dorsey, Fundstrat's Tom Lee and Digital Currency Group's Mark Murphy said that the letter from Democratic Representative Jared Huffman and members of Congress asking the EPA for greater crypto mining oversight was “premised on several misperceptions” about the world's largest digital asset as well as mining practices. Their response makes eight points in total, aimed at poking holes in Huffman's call for action but led with the argument that it's not the miners' data centers that are responsible for pollution but the power generators.
The letter signed by Saylor and 54 other business leaders state: “Emissions are created at the power generation source upstream from data centers. Digital asset miners simply purchase electricity from the grid, the same as Microsoft and other data center operators.”
That was in response to Huffman's letter to EPA's Michael Regan requesting an evaluation of “proof-of-work” mining facilities and their compliance with environmental statutes including the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. There were 22 other signatories including California's Brad Sherman and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
Meanwhile, New York State lawmakers are in the middle of reviewing a proposal that would put a years-long moratorium on permitting new mining operations that rely on carbon-based fuel and require an environmental impact report.
The tension between lawmakers and crypto businesses appears to be intensifying after China's ban on crypto mining drove operators to set up shop in North America.