Jack Dorsey, Michael Saylor, Fidelity, and others from the Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) submitted an open-letter addressing environmental concerns to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The BMC letter is a direct response to claims made in a letter dated April 20, 2022, signed by Representative Jared Huffman and 22 members of congress. Included in the Huffman letter are several misconceptions about Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining.
The BMC’s letter highlights and compares the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining to similar industries that utilize data centers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
In the letter it states that “As digital assets gain popularity, it is essential to understand the environmental risks and pollution associated with this industry.”
In response to the above claim, the BMC states that “This is deeply misleading: there are no pollutants, including CO2, released by digital asset mining. Bitcoin miners have no emissions whatsoever. Associated emissions are a function of electricity generation, which is a consequence of policy choices and economic realities shaping the nature of the electrical grid. Digital asset miners simply buy electricity that is made available to them on the open market, just the same as any industrial buyer.”
The BMC letter aims to help government officials understand that:
- There is a difference between a data center and a power generation facility.
- There is no meaningful difference between a “digital asset mining facility” and data centers run by Google, Apple, and Microsoft.
- Some data centers only mine Bitcoin while other data centers do not mine. At the same time other data centers, including many owned by Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, run some of each.
- The EPA and other regulatory and law enforcement agencies should require all power generation facilities to adhere to all regulations.
- The EPA and other regulatory and law enforcement agencies should require all data center facilities to adhere to all applicable laws and regulations.
- If a data center is violating noise ordinances, their operators should be forced to comply with local and regional noise and nuisance ordinances.
- If a data center is failing to properly dispose obsolete Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining machines or other computer equipment, the data center operator should dispose of them in an environmentally responsible manner.
- If a data center is abiding by all laws and regulations, the content or type of computational workloads should be irrelevant.
The BMC letter concludes that it is crucial for public officials to understand that the digital asset mining sector does not contribute to the environmental issues raised in Huffman’s letter. By embracing Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining, the United States will be more “innovative, economically resilient, and ultimately stronger into the future.”
The response letter provides a full breakdown of each concern that was addressed in the original letter signed by Huffman.