Today, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that it will begin a preliminary investigation into the electricity consumption of crypto mining companies in the United States.
After China banned cryptocurrency mining in 2021, cryptocurrency mining rapidly expanded in the United States. It is estimated that by 2023, almost 38% of the world’s crypto mining will take place in the US, making the US the world’s leading country in crypto mining. The expansion of cryptocurrency mining threatens to keep polluting coal- and gas-fired power plants open, straining the power grid and raising electricity bills for American households.
Mandy DeRoche, Deputy Chief Counsel for Earthjustice’s Clean Energy Program, released the following statement:
“Until now, proof-of-work crypto mining has been largely unknown to U.S. regulators and has little to no reporting requirements. can undermine progress toward meeting climate goals and threaten power grids, communities, and ratepayers.
“We are encouraged by EIA’s work to gather information about this extremely energy-intensive industry that has grown significantly in the United States in recent years and for which little information is publicly available. of organizations and individuals have attempted to collect this information, but were unable to. Requiring cryptocurrency mining operations to report their energy usage would be a turning point for an industry that has thrived in the shadows. Data on energy use is critical to grid operators, state and federal regulators, and the communities that host these problem facilities. After this interim measure, EIA will take the following steps: I look forward to it.”
In November and December 2022, Earthjustice, in collaboration with a number of other organizations, submitted comments to the U.S. Energy Information Administration regarding the negative climate and environmental impacts of cryptomining, asking the agency to report on the negative climate and environmental impacts of cryptomining. requested that data be collected.
In September 2022, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a report on the industry’s climate change threats and regulatory needs. Earthjustice and the Sierra Club have released a guidebook, “Energy Bomb,” which states that in the one year period from mid-2021 to mid-2022, Bitcoin mining in the United States alone will consume as much electricity as four states combined, and 2,740 It was revealed that 10,000 tons of CO2 was emitted. This is equivalent to the emissions of 6 million cars a year.
The high energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining threatens to undermine decades of progress towards meeting climate goals and reducing local pollution. Additionally, cryptocurrency mining practices can increase costs and risks for utility companies and their ratepayers, stress the power grid, and create noise in communities.
Rather than investing in long-term energy infrastructure that benefits the grid, the crypto mining industry seeks the cheapest available energy that can meet its needs. In practice, this means mining cryptocurrencies at or near coal and gas power plants, tapping into fossil fuel-intensive power grids.