YEREVAN (CoinChapter.com) – On Aug. 7, the U.S. Senate passed Democrats’ $750 billion climate, healthcare, and tax bill. It will include a $370 billion clean energy package, the largest climate investment in U.S. history. But will the bill affect the multi-billion crypto mining industry?
The climate, healthcare, and tax bill would raise over $700 billion in government revenue over ten years. It will spend over $430 billion to reduce carbon emissions and extend subsidies for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, it will use the rest to reduce the deficit.
So, before jumping to conclusions, it is advisable to take a closer look at the bill itself and today’s crypto mining landscape.
The bill got a divided response
The bill put another wedge in the overwhelming division between U.S. leading political parties, Democrats and Republicans. Senate Democrats, with a narrow 50-seat majority, stayed unified to pass the legislation. The final party-line vote was 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie.
I think we’ll all benefit from it; the country will. We have energy security; that’s what we were looking for. And we have the ability to invest in the energy of the future.
said Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democratic Seantor.
U.S. President Joe Biden praised the bill for “siding with American families” and against corporate greed.
Today, Senate Democrats sided with American families over special interests, voting to lower the cost of prescription drugs, health insurance, and everyday energy costs and reduce the deficit, while making the wealthiest corporations finally pay their fair share.
said President Biden
The Republicans disagree with the Democrats’ climate change priorities
The Republicans, however, were opposed to the legislation. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that the bill included “giant job-killing tax hikes” and amounted to “a war on American fossil fuel.” The Kentucky Republican also accused the Democrats of not caring about middle-class families.
The American people are clear about their priorities. Environmental regulation is a 3% issue. Americans want solutions for inflation, crime, and the border.
However, while the Minority Leader claims climate is not a priority for the middle class, climate change has become increasingly pressing. The climate bill might have underlying wins for the Biden administration and the upcoming midterm elections, but the issue is wider than the squabbling political parties.
Also read: Crypto industry in India to form new lobby group.
Climate change and crypto mining
As mentioned, the latest climate bill might negatively affect crypto mining, especially Bitcoin mining.
According to the Columbia Climate School, Bitcoin alone consumes an estimated 150 terawatt-hours of electricity annually. That’s “more than the entire country of Argentina, population 45 million,” says the research.
Moreover, producing that energy emits some 65 megatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually, making crypto a “significant contributor to global air pollution and climate change.”
However, the actual harm to the global climate is hard to estimate, as the energy used by crypto mining is partially renewable and doesn’t necessarily come from fossil fuels.
Moreover, the Bitcoin Mining Council report indicated that the global mining industry ran on an estimated 59.5% renewable energy in Q2 2022.
Will the Senate keep crypto mining off the hook?
The Senate and the Biden administration attempted to investigate crypto mining and its impact on global energy consumption. President Biden’s request for a cryptocurrency report in March 2022 came as part of a sweeping executive order on the “responsible development of digital assets.”
Also read: Ethereum is about to kill a multi-billion dollar mining industry — is there a way out for investors?
Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers want crypto mining companies to report more energy usage. In mid-July, they called on the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy Secretary to require more energy use reporting and climate impact studies by crypto mining companies.
The results of our investigation, which gathered data from just seven companies, are disturbing, with this limited data alone revealing that crypto miners are large energy users that account for a significant — and rapidly growing — amount of carbon emissions.
The lawmakers concluded that “the overall U.S. crypto mining industry is likely to be problematic for energy and emissions.”
While the crypto mining industry claims to use an increasing percentage of renewable energy, the Democratic party takes issue with the process, deeming it a hazard in the fight against climate change.
Thus, the multi-billion climate healthcare and tax bill might invite more scrutiny into the digital asset industry, especially proof-of-work cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.
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