Congress Sends Letter to EPA Extolling Proof of Work Mining Benefits

The U.S. Congress has sent another letter Thursday to the Environmental Protection Agency. This time, it included more information about proof of work. This time, however, it came with a positive spin – and was co-signed by a handful of crypto bulls, rather than skeptics.

The Promises of Proof of Work

The letter calls on the EPA to pursue a “comprehensive analysis” when attempting to understand the environmental effects of digital assets. While the congressional letter in April focused heavily on energy consumption as a metric of environmental harm, Thursday’s message argues that the debate is more nuanced.

For instance, it claims that a “substantial portion” of energy used in mining Bitcoin is extracted from renewable sources. Indeed, according to the Bitcoin Mining Council’s estimates, about 58% of the global mining industry is powered by sustainable energy right now.

Estimates from New York – which is on the verge of passing a moratorium on carbon-based crypto mining – run as high as 80%. Eric Adams, New York City Mayor wants to see Governor Hochul veto this ban.

His reasoning is the same as Congress’s call for additional consideration by the EPA: He wants to not place any barriers in the way of the growth and development of a new, wealthy industry.

“At a time of rapid technological innovation, we must affirm our commitment to responsible innovation to ensure future generations of Americans continue to enjoy prosperity and opportunity,” reads the letter.

The letter also argued that miners can have a “substantial stabilizing effect on energy grids.” The industry can provide sufficient demand to justify “robust baseload” levels, while also shutting down immediately during times of peak demand.

One such strategy is being pursued by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. To support his region’s weak energy grid, he is inviting more miners to his state to encourage the growth of power generation facilities. However, Iran is not the only jurisdiction to temporarily ban mining. This is to ensure that the grid remains functional.

Finally, the letter claims that digital assets will be “essential” to the United States’ economic future. “The United States, as the global financial services leader, cannot rest on its laurels.”

The letter was co-signed by several crypto-supportive congresspeople, including Cynthia Lummis (Patrick McHenry) and Tom Emmer. Lummis was one of the two senators who authored the landmark bill on digital asset regulation, which was unveiled earlier in this month.

The Mining Council’s Letter

In April, The Bitcoin Council wrote to the EPA debunking some claims made in the first congressional letter. The letter also included mentions of grid support and renewable energy. It also excluded the possibility that Bitcoin could be used as a proof-of-stake consensus system.

“Given how contrary Proof of Stake would be to the objectives of Bitcoin, the prospects for transitioning Bitcoin to Proof of Stake are completely impracticable,” it read.

Proof of stake uses cryptocurrency to establish the true state a blockchain ledger. Rostin Benham, Chairman of the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), believes that such a transition is possible.

The council’s letter was signed by many influential figures in the Bitcoin community, including MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor and Block Head Jack Dorsey.

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