Crypto Miner Stronghold Welcomes SEC Environmental Reporting Proposal

  • Stronghold Digital Mining says it has already been over-reporting on the subject of climate-related disclosures
  • One Democratic senator argues the rule places unfair scrutiny on the fossil gas business

The US Securities and Trade Fee’s latest proposal that publicly traded firms ought to disclose greenhouse gasoline emissions and climate-related dangers that might impression enterprise has environmentalists and politicians torn, however one cryptocurrency mining firm is welcoming it with open arms.

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

The proposed rule modifications would require publicly traded companies to reveal details about how climate-related dangers have had or are more likely to have a fabric impression 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 may end in elevated working and capital prices for us and cut back the extent of our enterprise actions,” Stronghold’s S-1 filing, which was submitted to the SEC in November 2021, reads. 

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

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

The proposed rule modifications come whilst institutional buyers’ considerations 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 technology facility in Pennsylvania. Coal refuse is classed beneath Pennsylvania legislation as a Tier II different vitality supply, much like large-scale hydropower, Beard stated.

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

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

One Democratic senator, Joe Manchin from West Virginia, criticized the rule for unfairly concentrating on fossil gas firms in an open letter to Gensler, launched on Monday. Manchin stated the proposed reporting necessities are pointless as a result of most firms already launch sustainability reviews, though the content material of those reviews varies between firms and may 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 firms face an uphill battle on the subject of altering the rhetoric across the business, and better reporting necessities might assist their case.

“On a federal stage, you may all the time count on modifications in rules, and I might count on modifications in rules round local weather,” Beard stated. “I believe there aren’t any public crypto mining boards that aren’t conscious of this problem and aren’t attempting to get entry to extra clear energy.”

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  • Casey Wagner


    Senior Reporter

    Casey Wagner is a New York-based enterprise journalist masking regulation, laws, digital asset funding companies, market construction, central banks and governments, and CBDCs. Previous to becoming a member of Blockworks, she reported on markets at Bloomberg Information. She graduated from the College of Virginia with a level in Media Research.

    Contact Casey through e mail at [email protected]