NY Passes First US Moratorium on Restarting Fossil Fuel Power Plants to Mine Crypto

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Getty Images | Andriy Onufriyenko

The New York State Legislature has approved a bill that would prevent the revival of fossil fuel power plants to power cryptocurrency mining operations. If signed by Governor Kathy Hochul, the bill would prevent the issuance of new permits for two years.

It is a “first bill on the moratorium on cryptocurrency mining,” advocacy group Earthjustice said on Friday. “While the bill would not cover fossil fuel-burning crypto mining operations that have already applied for new or renewed air permits, it would ensure that all future facilities could not receive air permits. for two years while the state Department of Environmental Conservation conducts an extensive study into proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining,” the group said.

The bill’s prospects looked bleak earlier this week, but passed the state Senate in a 36-27 vote after 12 p.m. Friday morning. It had previously been approved by the Assembly by a vote of 95 to 52 in April.

“Despite the cryptocurrency industry spending millions lobbying against the bill and spreading false information, the legislation passed the House with broad support,” the senator’s office said. state Kevin Parker (D-21) last month in a press release urging the Senate to take action. The purpose of the bill is to pause “the dirty practice or restart of retired fossil fuel power plants for crypto mining,” the press release reads.

In passing the new state law, “the Legislature rightly declared that fossil fuel power plants could not be given a second life in New York solely for the benefit of private industry, which would go to the against state climate mandates,” Earthjustice New York said. Political lawyer Liz Moran.

Bill targets proof-of-work mining

The bill states that during the two-year moratorium, the state may not approve any new air permit “for a power-generating facility that uses carbon-based fuel and supplies, in whole or in part, electrical energy consumed behind the meter or used by cryptocurrency mining operations that use proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions.”

The bill further states that the state “shall not approve an application to renew an existing permit or issue a renewal permit…if the renewal application is intended to increase or permit or cause an increase the amount of electrical energy consumed or used by “a proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining operation.

The bill also requires state agencies to prepare “a generic environmental impact statement on cryptocurrency mining operations that use proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions.” The review would examine the amount of electricity used by these operations, the types of fuels used, the impact on greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, other environmental impacts, and health impacts “in due to reduced air and water quality in communities near cryptocurrency mining operations.”

Bitcoin uses the energy-intensive proof-of-work method. The Ethereum project intends to move from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake as early as August. As an article on the project’s website states, the proof-of-stake method “uses considerably less energy and allows new scaling solutions to be implemented” but “is also more complex than the proof of work and refining the mechanism has taken years of research and development.The challenge now is to implement PoS on the live Ethereum network, a process known as “The Merge”.

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