Some sites have sought to install onsite gas power plants to make up for shortfalls in the grid. It may be cleaner than existing power, but adds to the industry's substantial carbon footprint.

And lawmakers have proposed more transparency and action. The US Senate introduced a proposal in early February to assess A.I.'s environmental impact. Lawmakers in northern Virginia, which is known as Data Center Alley, have pushed to mandate sustainability goals for data centers.

Suhas Subramanyam, a Virginia state senator, proposed a number of rules, including one that would require data centers to get at least 90 percent of their power from renewable sources to qualify for subsidies.

'' I don't want to stick my kids in a situation where, in 20 years, they have to pay some of the bills for things that we thought were a good idea and turned out not to be,'' he said.

The World Students Society thanks Patrick Sisson.


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