Crypto Mining Company Welcomes SEC Environmental Reporting Proposal

The US Securities and Change Fee’s latest proposal that publicly traded corporations ought to disclose greenhouse fuel emissions and climate-related dangers that may influence enterprise has environmentalists and politicians torn, however one cryptocurrency mining firm is welcoming it with open arms.

“ this [rule proposal,] I feel we’re already doing most of this,” mentioned Gregory Beard, co-chairman and CEO of Stronghold, a crypto mining firm that makes use of power from coal waste to mine bitcoin. “The chance part of our filings contains climate-related dangers.” 

The proposed rule adjustments would require publicly traded companies to reveal details about how climate-related dangers have had or are prone to have a cloth influence on their enterprise. 

“Our operations involving the combustion of coal refuse are topic to a lot of dangers arising out of the specter of local weather change, which might end in elevated working and capital prices for us and scale back the extent of our enterprise actions,” Stronghold’s S-1 submitting, which was submitted to the SEC in November 2021, reads. 

Moreover, the SEC proposes that registrants disclose details about direct greenhouse fuel emissions and oblique emissions from bought electrical energy or different types of power. 

“If there have been a manner to do that with out emitting carbon into the air in any respect, we might do it, even when it wasn’t probably the most financial factor to do,” Beard mentioned. “We’re taking a look at applied sciences and investments to scale back our carbon emissions and decrease our carbon footprint.” 

The proposed rule adjustments come at the same time as institutional traders’ issues over environmental points look like easing.

Environmentally pleasant mining is a key a part of Stronghold’s enterprise mannequin and mission, Beard added. Stronghold owns and operates the Scrubgrass Plant, a coal-refuse energy era facility in Pennsylvania. Coal refuse is classed below Pennsylvania regulation as a Tier II various power supply, just like large-scale hydropower, Beard mentioned.

“We imagine our energy era facility is environmentally useful as a result of we take away legacy coal refuse and facilitate the remediation of land and water, with energy era being the byproduct of this exercise,” the submitting notes. 

The SEC’s three Democratic commissioners voted to approve the proposed rule and the only Republican commissioner voted towards it. SEC Chair Gary Gensler mentioned the rule would supply “constant, comparable and decision-useful data” for traders seeking to make investments consciously.

One Democratic senator, Joe Manchin from West Virginia, criticized the rule for unfairly focusing on fossil gasoline corporations in an open letter to Gensler, launched on Monday. Manchin mentioned the proposed reporting necessities are pointless as a result of most corporations already launch sustainability studies, though the content material of those studies varies between corporations and might be troublesome to confirm. 

Whereas Beard didn’t touch upon his private opinion of the rule, he did acknowledge that the proposal didn’t come as a shock. He additionally famous that cryptocurrency mining corporations face an uphill battle on the subject of altering the rhetoric across the business, and higher reporting necessities might assist their case.

“On a federal degree, you may all the time anticipate adjustments in laws, and I might anticipate adjustments in laws round local weather,” Beard mentioned. “I feel there are not any public crypto mining boards that aren’t conscious of this situation and aren’t attempting to get entry to extra clear energy.”

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