Senator Ed Markey is reintroducing a bill that aims to regulate the energy consumption of cryptomining operations in the United States. The move comes as the National Coalition Against Cryptomining (NCAC) pushes for federal legislation to control the environmental impact of the industry. The NCAC is composed of communities that have been impacted by cryptomining activities.
Yvonne Taylor, Vice President of Seneca Lake Guardian, said that the bill was necessary because speculators are destroying natural resources, causing noise pollution, and impacting local businesses. She added that cryptomining should not be a town-by-town or even a state-by-state fight, and that the federal government must regulate the industry.
The NCAC’s push for federal legislation comes after a major win in New York, where a first-in-the-nation moratorium was enacted to curb the dangerous industry. The U.S. Department of Energy has also announced plans to assess the climate impacts of cryptomining.
Cryptomining is an energy-intensive process that requires thousands of machines to run 24/7, resulting in significant energy consumption and carbon emissions. In the United States, Bitcoin mining produces an estimated 40 billion pounds of carbon emissions each year, while a recent report found that Bitcoin mining emitted 27.4 million tons of CO2 in just one year.
Kentucky is the state that produces the most carbon from cryptocurrency mining, according to a report in the scientific journal Joule. The report noted that many of the mining operations are in distressed areas that have long been exploited for their energy resources.
Cryptomining can also raise costs and risks for utilities and their ratepayers, stress electric grids, and flood communities with noise. The industry uses half the electricity of the entire global banking sector and is on track to overtake the global banking sector in two years if current trends continue.
The NCAC’s push for federal legislation has received support from communities across the country, including those in New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Montana, Minnesota, Texas, and Washington.
Senator Markey’s bill aims to regulate the energy consumption of cryptomining operations and ensure that they do not harm local communities and the environment. The NCAC hopes that the bill will pass and that it will pave the way for more federal legislation on the environmental and climate impacts of Proof of Work cryptomining.
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