The White House is trying to persuade Congress to pass a 30% tax on the electricity used in cryptocurrency mining in the next federal budget in order to minimize the nascent industry’s impact on climate change.
“Cryptominers’ high-energy consumption has negative spillovers on the environment, quality of life, and electricity grids where these firms locate across the country,” the president’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) argues in a blog post that will appear on the White House website on Tuesday, to which Yahoo News gained advance access. The post will lay out the case for the Digital Asset Mining Energy (DAME) excise tax, which the CEA writes is an “example of the Administration’s efforts to fight climate change and reduce energy prices.”
“Currently, cryptomining firms do not have to pay for the full cost they impose on others, in the form of local environmental pollution, higher energy prices, and the impacts of increased greenhouse gas emissions on the climate,” the CEA writes in its post. “The DAME tax encourages firms to start taking better account of the harms they impose on society.”
Burning fossil fuels to create electricity accounts for 25% of annual U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and releases harmful air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.