On May 3, a bill to “pause” crypto mining in New York for three years was referred to the state’s Environmental Conservation committee.
If the latest environmentally-focused bill passes the state senate, crypto miners in New York may be forced to take a three-year break.
New York Senate Bill 6486 was introduced by Democratic Senator Kevin S. Parker, Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Telecommunications, and co-sponsored by Democratic Senator Rachel May, Chair of the Committee on Aging and Chair of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources.
The bill has yet to receive widespread support from other senators, but Democrats control both the lower house and the senate.
The bill seeks to “impose a moratorium on the operation of cryptocurrency mining centers” in order to mitigate the environmental impacts of fossil-fuel-powered crypto mining in particular.
It also intends to impose stricter regulations on mining facilities, such as the requirement to undergo an environmental impact review, which would prohibit crypto mining if the facility did not meet New York’s climate change targets.
“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 established goals such as 70% renewable energy by 2030, 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040, and a reduction of 22 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions through energy efficiency and electrification.
Crypto mining is already a hot topic in New York, as evidenced by Greenbridge’s proposed expansion of its gas-fired Bitcoin plant on Seneca Lake. According to reports, the plant intends to power up to 27,000 computers that will mine Bitcoin 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Seneca Lake Guardian, an environmental group, is outraged by 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.”
“We’re talking about burning more fossil fuels to make fake money in the middle of climate change, which we view as insane.”
In light of carbon targets, there are efforts around the world to regulate crypto mining, particularly in China, which accounts for an estimated 65 percent of the world’s Bitcoin hashing power.
On April 27, Beijing issued a “emergency notice” to conduct checks on crypto mining data centers, with the CCP reportedly moving to impose stricter supervision on crypto mining in the country, amid concerns about failing to meet China’s climate change-focused “five-year plan.”