Another letter on the environmental effects of cryptocurrency mining was sent on February 6 to Michael Regan, administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, and Jennifer Granholm, secretary of energy. This time, eight Democratic legislators, led by Elizabeth Warren, contacted the authorities.
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The agencies’ information-gathering power in relation to the electricity utilized for cryptocurrency mining was questioned in formal communication, and the eight parliamentarians confirmed receiving responses before. They have since asked a number of follow-up questions on actual issues related to information gathering and using the information they get. They penned:
“The urgency of the climate crisis, combined with the rapid growth of cryptomining in the U.S., dictates a comprehensive mandatory disclosure and data collection regime. We therefore urge your agencies to work together to address the lack of information about cryptomining’s energy use and environmental impacts and require mandatory reporting of this information from cryptominers as rapidly as possible.”
Senator Warren, members of the Senate Banking Committee Sheldon Whitehouse, Edward Markey, and Jeff Merkley, as well as Representatives Jared Huffman, Rashida Tlaib, Katie Porter, and Richard Durbin, are the authors of the letter. They also inquired about the Energy Department’s outreach efforts for its Energy Star program and possible technical support for communities thinking about hosting cryptocurrency miners. The deadline for responses from the recipients was March 6.
Warren, a vocal opponent of the cryptocurrency sector, has also written to acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu, asking him to withdraw guidance for banks on how to handle cryptocurrencies, and to Gary Gensler, the commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, regarding that agency’s authority to regulate cryptocurrencies.
Legislators have written to Regan in the past about cryptocurrencies. Huffman and 22 other politicians sent Trump a letter last year criticizing cryptocurrency; this year, 14 other members of Congress sent him a letter in favor of the sector.