The proposed tax on electricity use by crypto mining companies is not about environmental concerns; rather, it is a misguided attempt to stifle innovation in an industry that uses less than 1% of United States electricity. Crypto mining is an industry that creates new jobs, spurs the transition to renewable energies, and lays the foundation for alternative financial opportunities for the under- and unbanked. Discouraging mining in the United States would increase emissions elsewhere, in countries and regions where energy sectors are much less regulated and responsible than the United States. Therefore, energy security is national security, and it is essential that we develop this technology at home and not allow this leadership opportunity to go abroad.
At a Senate EPW hearing in March, Senators Ricketts and Lummis both highlighted that energy production is already one of the most regulated industries in the world at the point of generation. Mining is an end-user of power purchased in fair and open markets, much like electronic vehicles, and this tax would be a significant overreach by the government picking winners and losers in the market and determining which Americans may purchase and use energy resources for business operations.
Instead of penalizing crypto mining companies, policymakers have the opportunity to work with industry leaders on innovative solutions that will reduce energy consumption while allowing for continued growth and development of the industry.