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Crypto climate impacts get Senate scrutiny

Nick Sobczyk
Mar 3, 2023
Senator Ed Markey

Ed Markey. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A Senate panel plans to examine the climate impacts of cryptocurrency mining next week.

Why it matters: The Biden administration is already scrutinizing crypto mining emissions, as we reported last month. Now, the industry is about to get even more attention from Democrats who are critical of its climate impacts.

Driving the news: Sen. Ed Markey will lead the hearing in the EPW Clean Air, Climate and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee, his office tells Axios.

Of note: Sen. Cynthia Lummis, one of the crypto industry’s biggest backers on Capitol Hill, sits on the subcommittee. It could make for a fiery hearing.

Zoom in: Climate activists increasingly oppose crypto minng because of its massive energy footprint and its potential to keep fossil fuel generation on the grid.

  • The Department of Energy is moving ahead with a plan to assess the industry’s climate impacts after prodding from Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other progressives.
  • It’s a potentially precarious time for an industry already reeling from the collapse of FTX.

The other side: The industry is trying to build goodwill on the Hill to get out in front of this, as we wrote this week.

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