Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) railed against the Biden administration’s “absurd” scheme to survey electricity consumption from the cryptocurrency mining industry in an exclusive comment to Breitbart News.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is starting a “provisional” survey of electricity consumption from cryptocurrency miners. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) authorized the survey on January 26 as part of an emergency collection of data request.
Although the survey may seem like just an attempt to understand the burgeoning financial industry better, cryptocurrency advocates have balked at the granular information requested from the industry, calling it “Orwellian.”
The survey demands information such as specific mining hardware and hash rate data.
This survey follows a letter sent by Democrat lawmakers, led by known anti-crypto Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy, demanding that they compel cryptocurrency miners to disclose their energy consumption data.
Lummis, a staunch cryptocurrency advocate, said in a statement to Breitbart News that the Biden administration should focus on lowering energy costs rather than hounding a burgeoning domestic industry.
“The same administration that believes every American should drive an electric car and have an electric stove wants to blame the crypto asset mining community for issues with the electrical grid. This is absurd. The Biden administration is so focused on picking winners and losers to help advance its Green New Deal priorities,” she explained in a written statement.
“The latest announcement that the Department of Energy wants to start a database to track crypto-mining operations is incredibly concerning. It is time for the Biden administration to shift its focus to making energy more affordable and streamline the permitting process so energy projects can come online faster instead of stifling new emerging industries,” Lummis continued.
The cryptocurrency industry is shocked at the move as well.
Brian Morgenstern, the head of public policy for Riot Blockchain, a publicly listed cryptocurrency miner, called this move a “politically-motivated attack on bitcoin driven by self-appointed ‘anti-crypto’ Sen. Warren.”
Perianne Boring, the head of the industry association Chamber of Digital Commerce (CDC), and Lee Bratcher, the head of the Texas Blockchain Council, wrote in an op-ed for Coindesk that it is likely that this move could be used to put pressure on energy providers to discontinue business with bitcoin miners.
Boring and Bratcher wrote:
This is an attack against legitimate American businesses with the administration feigning an emergency to score political points. The White House has been clear that they desire to “to limit or eliminate” bitcoin miners from operating in the United States. Although the Bitcoin network is resilient against potential bans, the administration is seeking to make the lives of bitcoin miners, their employees and local communities too difficult to bear operating in the United States. This is deeply concerning.
As the Biden administration moves to scrutinize the digital currency mining industry, Bloomberg analyst Jamie Coutts reported in late 2023 that bitcoin mining had exceeded 50 percent of its energy sourcing originating from renewable sources.
Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.
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