U.S. Energy Information Administration to Advance New Survey Requiring Cryptomining Companies to Report Energy Use

"Utilities and anyone who depends on reliable, affordable electricity should support the EIA's effort to bring transparency to this energy-intensive industry"


Yesterday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced plans to initiate a new provisional survey of electricity consumption from cryptocurrency mining companies across the United States. This is the federal agency’s second attempt at collecting much-needed cryptomining data, after rescinding a similar emergency data request earlier this year due to a lawsuit brought by cryptominers in Texas. The EIA will now proceed with a public comment process on reporting requirements for cryptocurrency miners, the first step toward establishing regular requirements that cryptominers report their energy use data. The public comment process is expected to begin in the coming months and, once comments are received and the survey is finalized, will mark the first extensive data collection on cryptomining companies operating within the United States.

Until now, proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining has been largely invisible to U.S. regulators with little-to-no reporting requirements. Cryptocurrency mining expanded rapidly in the U.S. following China’s ban on cryptocurrency mining in 2021. Estimates indicate that more than 38% of cryptocurrency mining in the world occurs in the U.S., making it the top country for cryptocurrency mining in the world. The growth of cryptocurrency mining threatens to keep polluting coal-and gas-fired power plants active, strains the grid, and can raise electricity rates for American families.

Caroline Weinberg, Senior Research and Policy Analyst of the Clean Energy Program at Earthjustice said, “Utilities and anyone who depends on reliable, affordable electricity should support the EIA’s effort to bring transparency to this energy-intensive industry. EIA must work quickly and carefully to finalize a comprehensive survey this year.”


In 2022, Earthjustice, in partnership with many other organizations, submitted comments to the U.S. Energy Information Administration about the negative climate and environmental impacts of cryptocurrency mining requesting that the agencies collect data about cryptocurrency’s energy consumption.

In September 2022, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a report about the industry’s climate threats and the need for regulation. Earthjustice and the Sierra Club released a guidebook, “The Energy Bomb” finding that in one year from mid-2021 to mid-2022, Bitcoin mining in the U.S. alone consumed as much electricity as four states combined, emitting 27.4 million tons of CO2 — equivalent to the emissions of as much as 6 million cars annually.

The massive energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining threatens to undermine decades of progress toward achieving climate goals and reducing local pollution. In addition, cryptocurrency mining practices can raise costs and risks for utilities and their ratepayers, can stress electric grids, increase local air and water pollution, and flood communities with harmful noise pollution.

Rather than investing in long-term energy infrastructure that benefits the grid, the cryptocurrency mining industry seeks the cheapest available energy that can serve its needs. In practice, that translates to mining cryptocurrency at and near coal and gas plants and tapping into power grids that are often fossil-fuel heavy.

Bitcoin mining machines
Bitcoin mining machines in a warehouse at the Whinstone US Bitcoin mining facility in Rockdale, Texas, the largest in North America. Operations like this one have been boosted by China’s intensified crypto crackdown that has pushed the industry west. (Mark Felix / AFP via Getty Images)

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