What the Biden administration might do to keep crypto mining from derailing climate goals

Workers install a new row of Bitcoin mining machines at the Whinstone US Bitcoin mining facility in Rockdale, Texas, on October 9th, 2021. ...

Workers install a new row of Bitcoin mining machines on a rack
Workers install a new row of Bitcoin mining machines at the Whinstone US Bitcoin mining facility in Rockdale, Texas, on October 9th, 2021. | Photo by MARK FELIX / AFP via Getty Images

Crypto mining has exploded in the US over the past few years, and we’re just now starting to understand how that boom affects our infrastructure, environment, and daily life. As the US became the biggest hub for Bitcoin mining, for instance, crypto mines have revived ailing fossil fuel plants and driven up electricity bills.

We finally got a clearer picture of the fallout from US crypto mining last week when the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) published a report on the industry’s impact on energy and climate change. The analysis estimates that the crypto industry operations in the US pump out about as much greenhouse gas pollution annually as all the diesel fuel used on the nation’s railroads, 25 to 50 million...

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