Some of the biggest names in the crypto industry, including Jack Dorsey, Michael Saylor and Tom Lee, have spoken out against claims made by House Democrats on Bitcoin mining.
US Democrats against mining
In fact, recently some Democratic members of the US House of Representatives asked the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to investigate the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining.
The EPA is the US government agency that deals with environmental issues, and the Democrats led by Jared Huffman sent a letter to the EPA stating that they have serious concerns about pollution from mining farms.
In the letter, they suggest that mining farms “are having an outsized contribution to greenhouse gas emissions”, despite the fact that just a few months ago studies showed that the greenhouse gas emissions from Bitcoin mining are almost negligible.
In this connection, the letter calls on the EPA to assess the compliance of “Proof-of-Work” mining farms with the environmental regulations in force in the US, such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
The letter also explicitly speculates on the damage caused by mining farms to communities, such as e-waste and noise pollution, and asks to ensure that “communities are not left with the toxic burdens associated with this technology”.
This letter from the Democrats was followed by another open letter sent by the Bitcoin Mining Council to EPA Chairman Michael Regan.
The response letter from the Bitcoin Mining Council
The Bitcoin Mining Council is chaired by Michael Saylor of MicroStrategy, and this open letter has 55 signatories, including Jack Dorsey, Michael Novogratz, Tom Lee of Fundstrat, Michael Sonnenshein of Grayscale, Anthony Scaramucci of SkyBridge, Tom Jessop of Fidelity Investments, Don Tapscott of the Blockchain Research Institute, Fred Thiel of Marathon, and many others.
The lengthy open letter points out that Bitcoin mining emissions are not actually generated by the mining farms, but upstream directly from the production sources, which by the way are the same ones that are also used for many other activities, such as data centres run by Google, Apple, Microsoft or other operators.
Indeed, referring to the previous letter from the Democrats, he states that it was based on many misperceptions about Bitcoin and mining, which have been dismissed in the past or confused with those of other sectors.
The errors in the Democrats’ letter
As many as eight errors are pointed out and thoroughly refuted.
At the heart of the argument is the fact that a clear distinction must be made between those who generate electricity and pollute it, and those who merely consume it. It should also be borne in mind that all existing data centres in the world consume energy potentially produced by polluting sources, and not only mining farms.
According to the Bitcoin Mining Council, the EPA should take into account all domestic energy production, not just the consumption of mining farms.
It also calls for data centre workloads to be considered irrelevant if they comply with all applicable laws and regulations, regardless of the purposes for which the data centre is used.
It is worth noting that among the signatories of the Bitcoin Mining Council’s letter are CEOs of companies that mine in the US in full compliance with all regulations, and are even publicly traded and subject to numerous audits, including Marathon and Riot Blockchain.
In light of all this, the nature of the letter sent by the Democrats to the EPA seems decidedly propagandistic, given that the real problem is not mining itself, but the entire production of electricity in the country.