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Environmental groups are calling on the US government to take action against crypto miners

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A group of eight organizations focused on the environment has called on various government agencies under the Biden administration to implement new approaches in response to proof-of-work and other crypto-mining operations.

In a letter to the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy Monday, the Environmental Working Group, Earthjustice, Greenpeace, the League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, the Seneca Lake Guardian and the Milwaukee Riverkeeper called for it the White House to issue policies aimed at “curbing the power consumption and climate pollution associated with digital currencies they rely on [PoW]Specifically, the organizations claimed that crypto mining in the United States has harmed communities by creating increasing demand for fossil fuel-based electricity, threatening supply chains with demand for application-specific integrated circuits in oil rigs, creating significant electronic waste and ” did not support the transition” to renewable electricity.”

The eight-strong group proposed to the Environmental Protection Agency that PoW mining companies be subject to “rigorous scrutiny” for operating licenses “to mitigate damage from the disposal of bulk cryptocurrency mining waste” and to address claims of noise pollution deal with, allegedly caused by mining machines. Additionally, they asked the Office of Management and Budget Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to create a registry for many PoW mining operations so the companies can “disclose their energy sources and amounts.”

Other recommendations included the Department of Energy’s implementation of energy efficiency standards for PoW miners, with the limit tightened over time “to eventually eliminate proof-of-work mining.” However, the biggest demand appeared to be directed at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which have urged financial regulators to restrict crypto exchanges to listing digital assets that meet certain “environmental and electricity standards.” and to take a stand against “misleading claims regarding Bitcoin’s environmental impact of digital currencies.”

“Requiring registered exchanges only to list digital assets whose transactions consume electricity below a certain energy efficiency standard would spur innovation or a shift to other validation methods,” the environmental groups said.

Related: Go green or die? Bitcoin miners are aiming for carbon neutrality by mining near data centers

As the crypto space continues to grow with many investors in the United States, industry leaders and lawmakers have increased their efforts to address issues related to financial risks as well as the potential environmental impact of Bitcoin (BTC) mining. In April, a group of 23 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to the EPA stating that “the rapidly growing cryptocurrency industry must be held accountable” and claiming “cryptocurrency mining is poisoning our communities.”

The Bitcoin Mining Council responded with a letter of its own from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor to EPA Administrator Michael Regan on May 2, in which he claimed the group of lawmakers was wrong on several key issues. The industry leader pinned the alleged misconception on “electricity generation facilities” that cause pollution, and not on BTC mining itself.

The New York state government is currently considering a bill that could include a two-year ban on all new PoW mining facilities in the state that use carbon-based fuels for their operations. Both the Sierra Club and the Seneca Lake Guardian have opposed the activities of mining company Greenidge Generation Holdings on the state’s Seneca Lake.