The U.S. cryptocurrency mining industry is forming a new lobby group with one of its biggest goals being to dispel misconceptions among policymakers about its sustainability.
The Digital Energy Council was established on Aug. 15, saying its goal is to advance policies that encourage the growth of digital asset mining and energy development.
DEC founder and president Thomas Mapes told Cointelegraph that digital asset miners are “overdue” to have a unified voice in Washington.
Its official first member association focuses on the intersection of digital asset mining and energy ⚡️ policies at the federal level, and looks forward to working with digital asset and energy leaders to see: https://t.co/kzNhtfxYZi
— Tom Mapes (@tommapes88) August 16, 2023
Mapes previously served as Director of Energy for the Digital Chamber of Commerce. Before that, he served as Chief of Staff, Office of International Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy.
Mapes said it was during his tenure at the Department of Energy that he began to see cryptocurrency mining companies as an important part of the energy ecosystem — supplying energy to the grid in times of demand, or buying excess energy that would otherwise sit idle. — and other benefits.
“I think they are the energy companies of the future,” he added:
“I’m seeing energy companies, utilities, power providers — the big giants — all looking at this new technology and looking for ways to get involved.”
However, Mapes said many lawmakers have yet to see the industry in the same light. “Over the past year or so there has been a constant stream of legislation targeting the industry,” he said.
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In March, the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee announced the reintroduction of legislation accusing cryptocurrency miners of “siphoning megawatts from our public grid” and emitting massive amounts of greenhouse gas “just to make money for themselves.”
Mapes also cited Biden’s proposed 30% excise tax on digital asset mining and the White House’s report on the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining as other examples.
Mapes confirmed that the association has several founding members, including cryptocurrency mining and energy companies, some of which are public companies.
We are delighted to see the formation of the Digital Energy Council, the first association focused on the intersection of energy security and digital asset mining.Their mission is to promote responsible energy practices, grid resilience, and economic growth through cryptocurrency mining, which is essential to
— Daniel Speiss (@DanielSpeiss) August 15, 2023
He added that the association’s membership and lobbying efforts would currently be focused solely on the United States.
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