The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will begin collecting data on the power usage of crypto mines, following criticism from environmental activists about how energy-intensive their operations are.
“We specifically focused on how the energy demands of crypto mining are evolving, identifying high-growth geographic regions and determining the power sources used to meet the demand for crypto mining. Quantify,” said Energy Information Administration (EIA) Administrator Joe DeCarolis. stated in today’s press release.
“We will focus specifically on how the energy demands of crypto mining are evolving.”
The EIA, the Department of Energy’s statistical agency, announced that it will “begin a preliminary investigation of electricity consumption information from identified virtual currency mining companies” starting next week. Cryptocurrency mining companies must comply with an “emergency data collection request” approved by the Office of Management and Budget last week.
In 2022, Democratic lawmakers called on America’s largest cryptocurrency mining companies to disclose their electricity consumption and associated pollution. None of the companies responded to all the data requested, and Congress subsequently asked the DOE and EPA to require cryptocurrency companies to publicly share the information.
Exclusively shared in a letter between the agency and Democratic lawmakers The Verge Last year, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm sent a letter to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) stating that the EIA has the authority to require cryptocurrency businesses to report their energy usage. To do so, “new surveys will need to be developed to collect this information,” the letter says. That seems to be happening now. According to the letter, the EIA could potentially require power companies to share information about the amount of electricity they sell to crypto companies.
A spokesperson for the Blockchain Association did not respond to a request for comment.