U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.

U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.

WASHINGTON – One of Wyoming's two U.S. senators, along with congressional colleagues from across the U.S. West and other regions, want federal environmental regulators to take into account that many cryptocurrency operations use renewable energy sources.

Sens. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.; Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.; and Steve Daines, R-Mont., had written Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan last week. The office of Lummis, considered an advocate for crypto, including in Wyoming, made the letter public Tuesday afternoon.

"A substantial portion of digital asset miners’ energy use is based on renewable sources. Additionally, many miners use other power sources, like natural gas, that may otherwise go unused," according to the letter. It cited JAI Energy in Wyoming, along with virtual currency mining that uses flared gas, reducing methane emissions, in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, North Dakota and other states.

Regan should "fully study the potential environmental impacts of digital asset mining, including beneficial uses, before considering environmental regulation," said a news release.

EPA representatives did not comment right away. 

The new correspondence responded to an April letter from congressional Democrats. That earlier letter was signed by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.; Diana DeGette, D-Colo.; Bobby Rush, D-Ill.; and others, and it was led by Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif.

In that earlier letter, the EPA was asked to "ensure cryptocurrency mining facilities are not violating foundational environmental statutes like the Clean Air Act or the Clean Water Act. We have serious concerns regarding reports that cryptocurrency facilities across the country are polluting communities and are having an outsized contribution to greenhouse gas emissions." 

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