New York Assembly passes two-year mining restrictions
Lower house of the New York State Legislature voted for a bill designed to freeze current levels of carbon emissions from cryptocurrency mining.
The document provides for a two-year moratorium on the issuance of new permits for the production of cryptocurrency using electricity generated from hydrocarbon sources. Enterprises operating under this scheme will not be able to expand operations.
The act also requires the Department of Environmental Protection to prepare a report on the environmental impact of mining in the state. The study should be completed within a year, giving lawmakers time to take action before the restrictions expire.
Democratic MP Anna Kelles, the initiator of the bill, explained that it does not prohibit the mining of cryptocurrencies, but affects a limited number of energy facilities.
“This only applies to power plants, of which we have about 30 in the upstate and about 19 in the south,” Kelles noted during the discussion.
Republican Robert Smallen called the bill “anti-tech” and “only masquerading as environmental protection.” The decision will send the wrong signal to New York’s financial services sector in terms of digital adoption, he added.
According to Kelles, the proposed measures will not interfere with innovation in the field, since they will not affect other aspects of the crypto industry, such as asset trading.
Against the background of the development of mining in the United States, entrepreneurs used the surplus of electricity in the state to organize the mining of cryptocurrencies directly at power plants “to the meter”.
One of these enterprises became the Greenidge Generation in Dresden. In 2021, located on the banks of the Seneca (one of the lakes of the Finger group), a hybrid power plant faced accusations in negative impact on the environment.
In July of the same year, the company announced plans to expand mining business, but already at the site in South Carolina. Investment in the project will amount to $264 million.
In April 2022, the New York Supreme Court rejected environmentalists’ claims to the power plant.
Republican MP Philip Palmesano in a debate spoke about Greenidge’s contribution to the economy in terms of taxes and jobs.
Kelles countered that the 60,000-employee agritourism sector in the Finger area is signaling the negative impact of noise from the plant, as well as water and air pollution.
“How many jobs are we creating for these emissions, how many are we losing? We need to think about balance,” she said.
95 members of the Assembly voted in favor of the law, 52 deputies voted against. A similar document is under consideration by the Senate.
Recall that in February 2022, New York gubernatorial candidate Juman Williams called on the current state authorities stop bitcoin mining and other cryptocurrencies on the algorithm proof of work.