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US lawmakers request information on energy consumption from mining firms

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Four US lawmakers from the Energy and Commerce Committee have written to four leading crypto mining companies requesting information on their energy consumption. The lawmakers want to determine the effects of energy consumption on the environment.

US lawmakers request information on crypto mining

Frank Pallone, Bobby Rush, Diana DeGette, and Paul Tonko from the US House of Representatives wrote the letters to Core Scientific, Marathon Digital Holdings, Riot Blockchain, and Stronghold Digital Mining. The letters requested information on the companies’ mining operations and energy demands.

Some details that the mining firms have been requested include the energy consumed by their mining rigs, the source of the consumed energy, the percentage of energy derived from renewable sources, and how often the companies suspended operations. The information requested is from 2021.

The four committee members also seek details on the firms’ average cost per megawatt hour to mine cryptocurrencies in each facility. In the letter addressed to the CEO of Riot, the lawmakers admitted that blockchain technology promoted information security and economic efficiency.

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However, they also said that the energy and hardware demands of proof-of-work cryptocurrencies could have far-reaching effects, causing harmful emissions and contributing to excess electronic waste.

The issue of energy demands by PoW cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has been contentious over the years. However, after miners migrated from China following the 2021 ban on crypto mining, most of them moved to the US, which has abundant renewable energy sources.

US President signs bill on climate change

The request made by the four lawmakers comes shortly after the US President, Joe Biden, signed the Inflation reduction Act into law. The bill is believed to be one of the most significant legislations in the US to help fight climate change.

The bill provides incentives supporting the growth of green energy projects such as clean transportation and “climate-smart” manufacturing. The bill’s signing was bound to cast the spotlight on the crypto mining sector that has been under lawmaker scrutiny over the years.

It is not the first time US lawmakers have published a letter regarding crypto mining activities. In April this year, several US lawmakers addressed a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency urging that crypto firms be investigated for violating the statutes to protect the environment.

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