September 27, 2023

Crypto mining lobby group to dispel misconceptions in Washington DC: Founder

The United States crypto mining industry is getting a new lobbying group, with one of its biggest goals to dispel misconceptions about its sustainability from policymakers. 

The Digital Energy Council launched on Aug. 15 with the goal of advancing policies that encourage the growth of digital asset mining and energy development.

The council’s founder and president, Thomas Mapes, told Cointelegraph that it was “long overdue” for digital asset miners to have a unified voice in Washington.

Mapes previously served as the director of energy at the Chamber of Digital Commerce. Prior to that, he was chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of International Affairs.

Mapes said it was during his time at the Energy Department that he began to see crypto mining firms as an essential part of the energy ecosystem — providing energy to the grid during times of demand or purchasing excess energy that would otherwise go unused — among other benefits.

“I see them as energy companies in the future,” he said, adding:

“I see energy companies, utility companies, power providers — the big majors — all taking a look at this new technology and figuring out ways they can get involved in this.”

However, Mapes expressed that many lawmakers have yet to see the industry in the same light. “Within the past year or so, you have pieces of legislation dropping against the industry,” he said.

Related: Futurama’s latest reboot takes aim at Bitcoin miners

In March, the chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Submittee announced the reintroduction of legislation accusing crypto miners of “sucking megawatt after megawatt from our public grids” and emitting huge amounts of greenhouse gasses, “just so they can make a buck for themselves.”

Mapes cited Biden’s proposed 30% digital asset mining excise tax and the White House’s crypto mining environmental impact report as other examples.

Mapes confirmed the association has several founding members, including crypto mining and energy firms — some of which are publicly listed companies.

The association’s membership and its lobbying efforts will be solely focused on the U.S. for now, he added.

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