While ongoing operations are not halted, New York continues to display an adversarial stance towards bitcoin mining as a whole.
This is an opinion editorial by Rick Mulvey, author of The Fraud Within and contributor to Bitcoin Magazine.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has dealt another blow to the upstate Greenidge Generating Facility, which generates electricity for the power grid and operates also bitcoins.
Greenidge said the decision, announced Thursday, to deny them a new “Title V” air emissions permit will have “no impact on our current operations.”
The company, located in New York’s Finger Lakes region, said it will continue to operate its natural gas plant as it appeals the DEC’s decision. In a statement, the company said: “We can continue to operate uninterrupted under our existing Title V Air Permit, which is still in effect, for as long as it takes to successfully challenge this capricious and arbitrary decision. ” The company has stated its intention to pursue legal action if their appeal is unsuccessful.
Climate activists urge Governor Hochul to take the next step
Referring to the recent bill to impose a two-year moratorium on cryptocurrency mining, Yvonne Taylor of the Seneca Lake Guardian organization said, “Governor (Kathy) Hochul needs to finish the job by signing the moratorium on cryptocurrency.”
The moratorium bill has passed both the Senate and the Assembly and is now awaiting Hochul’s signature. However, Hochul recently said she does not plan to review the bill until the end of this year.
Activists continue to push for the moratorium as they argue that other mining operations are looking to move into New York state. According to Sen. Kevin Parker (D), one of the co-sponsors of the moratorium bill, other gas-fired power plants are targeted by cryptocurrency mining operations.
Assembly Cryptocurrency Supporters Launch Compromise Bill
In a recent development, the New York State Assembly passed a bill directing the New York State Department of Financial Services to establish a task force to study cryptocurrency mining, without imposing a moratorium. Introduced by Clyde Vanel (D), measure A09275 would propose to study various aspects of cryptocurrency, including consumer and investor protection. The bill passed the Assembly by a vote of 122 to 25 on March 28.
The New York State Senate also passed the bill on June 2 by an overwhelming 61-2 vote.
This bill is now also submitted to Governor Hochul for signature.
Cryptocurrency proponents continue to tout the benefits of mining
Construction unions and labor unions, especially the Electrical Workers Union, have been big supporters of the cryptocurrency mining industry. Establishing mining operations using previously shut down power plants could create thousands of well-paying jobs in upstate New York, they say. The region is part of the vast northeast “rust belt,” which has been bleeding manufacturing jobs for decades.
And of course, when making their case to state government officials, proponents are quick to point out that these operations may very well generate significant tax revenue for the state.
New York State has long been considered in many ways the financial capital of the United States, and cryptocurrency advocates want to ensure that the state is doing all it can to foster a climate business-friendly and a hotbed of innovative technologies.
This is a guest post by Rick Mulvey. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or bitcoin magazine.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.