White House Drafting Policy to Reduce Crypto Mining Carbon Footprint

Paigambar Mohan Raj
Source: Altcoin Buzz

The Biden administration is preparing policy recommendations to reduce crypto mining’s energy consumption and emissions footprint. This marks the administration’s first major inroads into the industry. Many have criticized Bitcoin and crypto mining, stating that it jeopardizes US climate goals.

Costa Samaras, principal assistant director for energy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, while speaking to Bloomberg Law, said,

“It’s important, if this is going to be part of our financial system in any meaningful way, that it’s developed responsibly and minimizes total emissions […] When we think about digital assets, it has to be a climate and energy conversation,”

President Joe Biden issued an executive order in March directing government agencies to ensure “responsible” mining of crypto assets like bitcoin. The study, which is scheduled for August, might be one of the first investigations following that order.

However, it is unclear whether any governmental action will be taken in response to the proposals.

The Energy Department, which sets efficiency requirements and researches clean technologies, was unable to give a spokesperson for bitcoin energy use. Energy use by particular customers or enterprises is not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In April, some House Democrats criticized the EPA’s lack of action on the matter.

Some believe the federal government’s responsibility is to shape investor disclosures, which will then pressure crypto miners to clean up their operations.

Jesse Morris, CEO of Energy Web, a technology company that works with utilities and consumers to accelerate decarbonization, said,

“I have a really hard time seeing some sort of a stick approach. I think the most bang for their buck is going to be on education and disclosure of bitcoin mining—and that would send a huge signal, too.”

Last month, Energy Web launched a scoring system to indicate how crypto miners are reducing emissions by reducing their use.

According to Samaras, a Carnegie Mellon University researcher who was chosen in November for a new White House energy team, the study attempts to dig deeper into assertions that have praised crypto as a social benefit or condemned it as a local nuisance and a climate nightmare.