The US government plans to require companies that mine cryptocurrencies to report information on their energy usage.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that starting next week, “identified commercial cryptocurrency miners will be required to investigate and provide details about their energy use.”
“We specifically focused on how the energy demands of crypto mining are evolving and identified geographic regions where we are seeing high growth,” EIA administrator Joe DeCarolis said in a written statement this week. , to quantify the power sources used to meet crypto mining demand.”
The study was authorized by the White House Office of Management and Budget as an “emergency data collection request.”
To put new cryptocurrencies into circulation, “miners” use energy-consuming computers. These computers generate puzzle solutions that unlock new cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency mining in the United States has increased significantly over the past few years, especially after the crackdown on activities in China in 2021.
At the lower end of the estimate, EIA’s preliminary estimates suggest that crypto mining would use as much electricity as entire states like Utah and West Virginia.
It accounts for 0.6% to 2.3% of the country’s total electricity consumption.
The EIA said its use raises concerns about strain on the country’s power grid, soaring electricity prices and the potential for additional carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming.
Increased demand for electricity from crypto mining has allowed idled fossil fuel power plants to restart operations in some regions.
Democratic lawmakers expressed concern about the energy use and climate impacts of the act and called on the federal government to track them.
Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.