Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis, who supports Bitcoin, does not think that the proposed 30% excise tax on Bitcoin miners by the Biden Administration is likely to pass through the House.
During her appearance at Bitcoin Miami 2023, Lummis showed her support for miners, believing that the growth of the Bitcoin industry in the United States is a matter of national security.
Mining: Dirty or Clean?
In an interview with Perianne Boring, a member of the crypto advocacy group Chamber of Digital Commerce, Lummis expressed her thoughts on the excise tax.
Boring mentioned that companies within the Chamber of Digital Commerce representing 50% of Bitcoin’s hashrate were worried that they would not be able to operate in the US if the tax is passed, to which Lummis reassured the Bitcoin community.
“That isn’t going to happen,” Lummis said. “It’s absolutely important that the development of this technology, as well as Bitcoin mining itself, occurs in the United States.”
Biden’s excise tax was quietly introduced in his 2024 budget plan, along with new rules targeting crypto wash trading and capital gains. The President’s Council of Economic Advisors also released guidance for Congress to approve the tax, stating that it would face consequences for causing “local environmental pollution” and “higher energy prices.”
Contrary to these claims, Lummis believes that Bitcoin mining benefits the environment and energy grids. In her home state of Wyoming, miners are being used as an economic alternative to prevent waste methane from oil and gas wells 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
In July 2022, Bitcoin miners paused their operations in Texas when requested by regulators to conserve energy for homes, showing their willingness to cooperate. However, the Texas House of Representatives is currently considering a proposal to limit the number of miners participating in the demand response program, which compensates them financially for the time they spend offline.
According to the survey results from the Bitcoin Mining Council in Q4 2022, the global Bitcoin mining industry had a green energy mix of 58.9%. If federal and state-level actions ultimately discourage mining in the US, Lummis is not worried about the survival of the industry globally.
“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.”