Rep. Huffman, Sen. Markey Announce Legislation to Crack Down on Crypto Energy Consumption as Markey Holds First-Ever Senate Hearing Focused on Industry’s Environmental Impacts

Lawmakers reintroduce Crypto-Asset Environmental Transparency Act ahead of Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee hearing scrutinizing skyrocketing energy consumption of cryptomining industry

March 03, 2023

Washington (March 3, 2023) – Representative Jared Huffman (CA-02) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, today announced the reintroduction of the Crypto-Asset Environmental Transparency Act, legislation to require cryptomining companies to disclose their emissions for operations that consume more than five megawatts of power and to require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the impacts of U.S. cryptomining. Bitcoin crypto-asset mining companies in the United States are estimated to use enough electricity to light up every home in the nation, and their facilities produce as much greenhouse gas emissions as seven million gasoline powered cars. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is a cosponsor.

“As we look to slow the effects of climate change, it makes no sense to continue ignoring cryptomining’s skyrocketing energy demands and planet-polluting emissions,” said Representative Huffman. “Granting this industry impunity to run rampant is a risk to the health and safety of our communities and planet, and we need to understand the full harm this industry presents. It’s past time for serious government oversight and regulation of these cryptocurrency schemes.”  

“The crypto industry is growing, and so is a plume of pollution around their mining facilities,” said Senator Markey. “While we’re working together as a nation to face down an existential crisis that puts the health and safety of our people and our planet in jeopardy, crypto miners are sucking megawatt after megawatt from our public grids and emitting skyrocketing greenhouse gasses, just so they can make a buck for themselves. We can’t afford to let this industry run roughshod over our communities any longer.”

A copy of the bill text can be found HERE.

The Crypto-Asset Environmental Transparency Act is endorsed by Environmental Working Group, Sierra Club, Earth Justice, Greenpeace USA, Food and Water Watch, National Stop Crypto Coalition, Public Citizen, Change the Code Campaign, Natural Resources Defense Council, Mon Valley Clean Air Coalition, Seneca Lake Guardian, Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes, Concerned Citizens of Navarro County, Cherokee County Citizens Against Crypto Mining, FrackBustersNY, and Concerned Citizens of Cook County. of Representatives for reining in cryptocurrency to protect consumers and the environment.

Rep. Huffman has been a leader in the House of Representatives for reining in cryptocurrency to protect consumers and the environment. Last December, Rep. Huffman and Senator Markey introduced the legislation—Crypto-Asset Environmental Transparency Act—to hold cryptomining companies accountable and reduce their energy-intensive operations that undermine U.S. climate change efforts. In April 2022, he led his colleagues in a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan regarding reports that cryptocurrency facilities across the country are polluting communities and are having an outsized contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. In June, 2022, he sent a letter to the Office of Science and Technology Policy in response to the public comment period on Biden’s Executive Order related to energy and climate implications of digital assets. 

Next week, Senator Markey will chair the first-ever Senate hearing focused on the urgent need to crack down on the growing environmental impacts of cryptomining. At the hearing, titled “Air, Climate, and Environmental Impacts of Crypto-Asset Mining,” Senator Markey will speak with experts on the crypto industry’s energy consumption, the environmental consequences of crypto emissions, alternatives to cryptomining, and claims made by industry leaders.