Bitcoin miners rebut claims made by US Democratic legislators to EPA administrator

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Bitcoin miners rebut claims made by US Democratic legislators to EPA administrator

The Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) has responded to a letter sent to United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan by Democratic legislators last month with a letter of its own seeking to rectify inaccuracies about Bitcoin (BTC) mining and its environmental impact. 

Penned by MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, Castle Island Ventures partner Nic Carter and Darin Feinstein of Core Scientific, the BMC letter, which has over 50 signers, highlights alleged misconceptions in the document sent to Regan. In particular, the authors said that the original letter, which was signed by Democratic Representative Jared Huffman and 22 members of Congress, “confuses datacenters with power generation facilities,” among other inaccuracies.

The Democrats’ letter urges the EPA to ensure that digital asset miners comply with “foundational environmental statutes like the Clean Air Act or the Clean Water Act” and goes on to air several concerns relating to cryptocurrency mining, such as electronic waste and noise pollution. The BMC letter seizes on eight points and rebuts them at length.

According to the industry group, the original letter’s assertion that Bitcoin mining facilities across the country are “polluting communities” is inaccurate. According to BMC, Bitcoin mining facilities produce no pollution, rather power generating facilities do. The failure to make that distinction comes up more than once. The authors also debunk what they see as outright misinformation, such as “A single Bitcoin transaction could power the average U.S. household for a month.”

However, BMC may have revealed its own prejudices in its response to the claim that proof-of-stake (PoS) processing is less energy-intensive. After holding PoS to several criticisms, the industry group states the following: 

“Given that Proof of Stake and Proof of Work are qualitatively different, it’s misleading to refer to Proof of Stake as a more ‘efficient’ form of Proof of Work, since it does not achieve the same thing.” 

The letter also points out that many miners engage in high-performance computing, which has many beneficial applications beyond Bitcoin and digital assets. 

BMC is an industry association open to all Bitcoin miners. It originated from a meeting of North American Bitcoin miners initiated by Michael Saylor in May 2021. Currently, the group has 44 “advisory members.” It has also published several reports on the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining and proof-of-work more generally. Some of the findings in its reports have been disputed.

Related: Go green or go home? What the NY State mining moratorium could mean for crypto industry

The BMC letter was signed by some of the crypto industry’s most prominent names and supporters, including Block Inc.’s Jack Dorsey, Fidelity Investments senior vice president Tom Jessop, Fordham Law School Professor Donna Redel, Grayscale Investments CEO Michael Sonnenshein and SkyBridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci.