Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis, an advocate for Bitcoin, is optimistic that the proposed 30% excise tax on Bitcoin miners by the Biden administration will not pass through the House. Speaking at Bitcoin Miami 2023, Lummis continued to express support for miners and their positive contribution to national security in the US.
During the interview, Lummis addressed concerns raised by crypto advocacy group Chamber of Digital Commerce, representing 50% of Bitcoin’s hashrate, who were worried that they would not be able to operate in the US if the tax was passed. In response, Lummis reassured Bitcoiners saying, “That isn’t going to happen. It’s absolutely important that the development of this technology, as well as Bitcoin mining itself, occur in the United States.”
President Biden’s 2024 budget plan introduced the excise tax, alongside new regulations targeting crypto wash trading and capital gains. Lummis, however, believes Bitcoin mining is environmentally friendly and beneficial to energy grids. Miners in her home state of Wyoming are already using Bitcoin mining as an alternative for venting waste methane from oil and gas wells. She added, “Bitcoin can actually be advantageous to stabilizing a grid 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.”
In July 2022, Bitcoin miners voluntarily paused their operations and conserved energy for homes in Texas during a severe heat wave. However, the Texas House of Representatives may limit miners who can join the state’s demand response program.
While survey results from the Bitcoin Mining Council indicate that the global Bitcoin mining industry had a 58.9% green energy mix in Q4 2022, Lummis remains unfazed by plans to discourage mining in the US. She pointed out that miners can operate globally, citing opportunities in Norway’s inexpensive hydroelectric mining operations.