Elizabeth Warren grills Bitcoin miner on climate

The Massachusetts senator is asking Greenidge Generation how its Bitcoin mining operations will affect climate change and the local environment.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is pressing a Bitcoin miner about the impact of its operations on climate change, the local environment and power prices as part of her campaign to crack down on wasteful cryptocurrency mining.

Warren sent the letter to Greenidge Generation Holdings Chief Executive Jeff Kirt Thursday afternoon. Greenidge, which says it’s the first carbon-neutral Bitcoin miner in the U.S., has one mine in upstate New York and is planning another in South Carolina.

“Given the extraordinarily high energy usage and carbon emissions associated with Bitcoin mining, mining operations at Greenidge and other plants raise concerns about their impacts on the global environment, on local ecosystems, and on consumer electricity costs,” Warren, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts, wrote in the letter.

This is the first time Warren has pushed a specific Bitcoin mining company for information. Cryptocurrency mining has come under fire for its increasing electricity consumption, which has grown to almost as much as the entire country of Argentina uses.

Greenidge will respond to Warren to set out how “the facility meets all of New York’s nation-leading environmental standards, is bringing economic opportunity to an under-served area of the state and is a model for crypto mining with widespread local support,” the company said in a statement.

The company, which is controlled by private equity firm Atlas Holdings, uses zero- and low-carbon sources of electricity for its mining operations and buys carbon offset credits, according to its website. The power plant that provides electricity for its New York mine burns natural gas. 

“We need to better understand how much energy facilities like Greenidge are using, how much they’re emitting into the environment, and what impact they’re having on electricity prices for American consumers,” Warren told Bloomberg News in an email.

Bitcoin ETFs could encourage advisers’ use of crypto

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here

MOST READ

Recent Articles by Author

BlackRock assets hit record $10 trillion, powered by ETFs

BlackRock assets hit record $10 trillion, powered by ETFs

Investors poured a net $104 billion into ETFs in the fourth quarter, the company said, while actively managed funds, including ETFs and mutual funds, saw a net $101 billion in flows.

‘Great retirement’ in U.S. is driven by older female baby boomers

‘Great retirement’ in U.S. is driven by older female baby boomers

There were 3.3 million, or 7%, more retirees as of October 2021 than in January 2020, according to research by the St. Louis Federal Reserve.

Ahead of tax season, Treasury says be ready for frustration

Ahead of tax season, Treasury says be ready for frustration

Many of the processing delays and customer service shortages that have plagued the IRS for years will persist this year, Treasury officials warn.

ESG study shared with SEC reveals fund labels are often useless

ESG study shared with SEC reveals fund labels are often useless

The researchers used data-analytic tools to establish that language in many funds’ prospectuses lacked clarity .

Crypto diehards are about to find out if it really was a bubble

Crypto diehards are about to find out if it really was a bubble

To skeptics, the crypto world as a whole is a mirage whose massive run-up past $2 trillion was simply the speculative by-product of the extraordinary amount of easy cash that’s been sloshing around in the global economy.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print