Key points to remember
- Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats have demanded information about the impact of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency mining on the state’s power grid.
- A letter from Warren requests information on carbon emissions, subsidies and power grid stability.
- The letter is addressed to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the state’s electric grid.
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Senator Elizabeth Warren asked for details about the energy consumption of crypto mining companies in Texas.
Democrats demand data
Democrats demand crypto data mining.
A letter from Elizabeth Warren and seven other government officials published on October 12 requests financial and operational information about crypto mining in Texas.
The letter is addressed to Pablo Vegas, CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which is responsible for operating Texas’ independent power grid.
Specifically, the letter requests information related to the effect of Bitcoin mining on climate change, carbon emissions, and the stability of Texas’ energy grid.
She also asks for details on the subsidies that ERCOT may have granted to mining companies. ERCOT offers discount agreements, which means it pays companies to reduce electricity consumption during peak demand. One mining company, Riot Blockchain, earned $9.5 million from grants in July 2022, but only earned $5.6 million from selling Bitcoin that month.
Warren’s letter suggests that crypto mining firms have entered Texas in droves due to cheap electricity and relaxed state regulations, raising concerns about stress on the Texas power grid. and an unreliable electricity market.
The letter estimates that Texas is responsible for a quarter of all Bitcoin mining in the United States. The large miners currently use 2 gigawatts of power, “enough to power every residence in the city of Houston twice,” the letter says. He warns that Bitcoin mining could produce an additional 5 or 6 gigawatts of demand over the next 12 to 15 months.
Besides Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Edward J. Markey also signed the letter. Congressmen Katie Porter, Jared Huffman, Al Green and Rashida Tlaib also signed the letter. All of these individuals are members of the US Democratic Party.
Warren has always been critical of cryptocurrency and made harsh statements about the technology, comparing it to drugs and snake oil last year.
In July 2021, she started criticizing Bitcoin’s energy consumption. This year, she urged at least two government agencies to regulate cryptocurrency mining more aggressively.
Disclosure: At the time of writing this article, the author of this article owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.