There has been a huge debate among legislators from all nations regarding the possibility of crypto mining having any negative environmental impact. Hence, it is no wonder that the US lawmakers have summoned its environmental protection agency (EPA) over the issue. The summon, which was proposed by rep. Jared Huffman, aims to know the stance of the EPA over the adherence of crypto mining companies to the nation’s policies for protecting the environment.
Poison To The Residential Areas
The house wrote an official letter to the EPA chief (Micheal Regan) on Thursday, showing their deepest concern on the matter. Part of the letter requests the EPA to identify any crypto miners that might have disobeyed any environmental protection policies, particularly the clean water and clean air acts. In the letter, the lawmakers showed grievous concerns over the possible poisonous effect of crypto mining operations on the environment.
Part of the letter reads, “we week to re-open the facilities that power crypto operations without destroying our efforts to clean our climate. Some crypto mining companies claim to use clean energy because of their operations. However, there are those whose operations are powered by coal-fired plants. Hence, they pollute the air and introduce toxic materials into our waterways.”
The lawmakers’ concerns mainly focus on blockchains whose transaction validation (mining) process involves PoW mechanisms. Examples of such blockchains are Monero, Zcash, and Bitcoin; Ethereum isn’t included in this list because it will soon complete a switch to become a PoS blockchain.
The Lawmakers’ Suggestion
Alex Cortez, one of the letter’s signatories, suggested that “the best solution is to hold the head of crypto miners accountable for any environmental pollution happening in their environment.” They further said, “we suggest the EPA get feedback from residents where these mining facilities operate to determine whether they have been compliant with the environmental protection policy before renewing their mining permits.”
“Also, the EPA must perform its due diligence on whether these companies are disposing of their waste properly and not cause noise pollution too.” The letter added that “we encourage all these PoW blockchains to switch to the more energy-efficient technologies such as the PoS.”
The Pos-Pow Debate Continues
Many lawmakers globally have realized the harmful effects of PoW mining on the environment and are starting to decline mining permits for any PoW-based blockchain mining facility. Instead, they suggest that all blockchains should embrace energy-efficient mining technologies such as the PoS.
As previously reported in various media, the EU had considered banning all cryptos mined with PoW technology. Thus, it can force them to switch to more energy-efficient technologies. However, the proposal didn’t receive sufficient votes to be passed into law. Nevertheless, some blockchains, particularly Ethereum, are already switching to a PoS mechanism. The blockchain’s development team has revealed that the switch will be completed before year-end. More blockchains will likely follow Ethereum’s footsteps once it completes its switch.