Bitcoin-friendly Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis doesn’t think the Biden Administration’s proposed 30% excise tax on Bitcoin miners isn’t likely to make it through the House.
On stage at Bitcoin Miami 2023, the politician remained supportive of miners, and believes the industry’s proliferation throughout the United States is a matter of national security.
Mining: Dirty or Clean?
During the interview, Lummis spoke about the excise tax with Perianne Boring, a member of the crypto advocacy group Chamber of Digital Commerce.
Boring explained that companies within their membership, which represent 50% of Bitcoin’s hashrate, were “incredibly concerned” that they wouldn’t be able to operate in the United States if the tax were passed.
Lummis responded with reassurance for Bitcoiners.
“That isn’t going to happen,” she said. “It’s absolutely important that the development of this technology, as well as Bitcoin mining itself, to occur in the United States.”
Biden’s excise tax was quietly introduced in his 2024 budget plan, which also included new rules targeting crypto wash trading and capital gains. Earlier this month, the President’s Council of Economic Advisors released guidance for Congress to approve the tax, to face consequences for causing “local environmental pollution,” and “higher energy prices.”
Contrary to their claims, Lummis believes Bitcoin mining is a net boon for the environment and energy grids, rather than a harm. In her home state of Wyoming, she explained that miners are already being used as an economic alternative for venting waste methane from oil and gas wells, preventing the methane gas from being flared into the atmosphere.
“Bitcoin can actually be advantageous to stabilizing a grid,” she added, “because there can be efforts to mine Bitcoin when [energy] use is low, and then to scale back the mining when energy use is high.”
Miner Can Mine Anywhere
Bitcoin miners engaged in similar stabilization efforts with the Texas grid in July 2022 in which miners paused their operations when requested by regulators to conserve energy for homes.
However, the Texas House of Representatives is currently weighing a proposal to cap the number of miners that can join the demand response program – which financially compensates miners for the time they spend offline.
As of Q4 2022, the global Bitcoin mining Industry had a green energy mix of 58.9%, per survey results from the Bitcoin Mining Council.
Should federal and state-level efforts ultimately succeed in discouraging mining in America, Lummis still isn’t worried about the global survival of the industry.
“Miners can mine anywhere,” she said, referencing the inexpensive Norway-based hydroelectric mining operations. “There are opportunities all over the world for Bitcoin mining to occur in jurisdictions that are friends… and foes.”
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