Crypto miners in New York may be subject to a forced three-year hiatus if the latest environmentally-focused bill passes in the state senate.
The New York Senate Bill 6486 was proposed by Democrat senator Kevin S. Parker, the Chairman of Committee on Energy and Telecommunications, and co-sponsored by fellow Democrat senator Rachel May, the Chair of Committee on Aging, Chair of Legislative Commission on Rural Resources.
The bill is yet to receive widespread backing from other senators, however the Democrats do control the lower house and senate.
The bill seeks to “establish a moratorium on the operation of cryptocurrency mining centers,” to slow the environmental impacts of fossil-fuel-backed crypto mining in particular.
It also aims to enforce stricter regulations for mining centers, such as the requirement to undergo an environmental impact review, which would prevent crypto mining if the facility does not comply with New York’s climate change targets.
The Bill was referred to the Environmental Conservation Committee on May 3 and claims to be acting in accordance with New York’s “Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act,” with that bill stating that:
“A single cryptocurrency transaction uses the same amount of energy that an average American household uses in one month, with an estimated level of global energy usage equivalent to that of the country of Swede.”
“It is reasonable to believe the associated greenhouse gas emissions will irreparably harm compliance with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act in contravention of state law. ” the bill adds.
The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act was passed in 2019 and set targets such as 70% renewable energy by 2030, 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040, and 22 million tons of carbon reduction through energy efficiency and electrification.
Crypto mining is already a hot topic in New York, such as the proposed expansion of Greenbridge’s gas-fired Bitcoin plant on Seneca Lake. The plant reportedly has plans to power up to 27,000 computers that will run 24/7 to mine Bitcoin.
The Environmental Group Seneca Lake Guardian are outraged with the proposal, and stated in a call to action published on Feb. 1 that: “Cuomo can’t lead on climate change, and support Bitcoin expansion on Seneca.”
Speaking in response to the Greenbridge’s potential crypto mining operations, Yvonne Taylor, Vice President of the Environmental Group Seneca Lake Guardian, noted that:
“We’re talking about burning more fossil fuels to make fake money in the middle of climate change, which we view as insane.”
There are moves around the world to regulate crypto mining in light of carbon targets, and especially in China which accounts for an estimated 65% of the world’s Bitcoin hashing power.
On April 27 Beijing sent an “emergency notice” to conduct checks on data centers involved in crypto mining, with the CCP reportedly moving to impose stricter supervision on crypto mining in the nation, amid concerns of failing to meet China’s climate change-focused “five-year plan.”