US wants crypto miners to rush through energy use data or risk ‘public harm’

Next week, US-based crypto miners will share their energy consumption with the US Department of Energy (DoE) as part of its efforts to “generate credible data” and provide insight into miners’ electricity use and its effects.

In an emergency request that was approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this week, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) claimed that a combination of a major cold snap in the US and increased crypto mining activity brought about by the increasing price of bitcoin may cause “heightened uncertainty in electric power markets.” It adds that this could “affect system operations and consumer prices.”

As a result, commercial crypto miners identified by the agency are required to share their energy usage details as part of a survey titled Proposed Emergency Survey – Cryptocurrency Mining Facilities.

According to the EIA’s request, time is of the essence, and “public harm is reasonably likely if normal clearance procedures are followed.”

Read more: Weed and crypto behind record electricity theft in England and Wales

The request also states, “Given the emerging and rapidly changing nature of this issue and because we cannot quantitatively assess the likelihood of public harm, EIA feels a sense of urgency to generate credible data that would provide insight.”

An administrator for the EIA said the survey will focus on evolving crypto-mining energy demands, finding geographic areas of high growth, and quantifying the sources of electricity used in crypto-mining.

It also added that the EIA is open to comments from the public about the collection of energy usage data from crypto miners.

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