For Immediate Release
ALBANY, NY — Today, the New York State Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee voted to pass legislation (A7389C) to establish a moratorium on cryptocurrency mining. The vote comes after the Department of Environmental Conservation cast doubt on the ability of the Greenidge Generation bitcoin mining facility – seeking permits in the Finger Lakes – to operate without endangering the state’s greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals stipulated in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).
Now, companion legislation in the senate, S6486D, awaits movement through the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee. Action is urgently needed, as the Bitcoin industry moves into the state. New York now hosts at least 20 percent of the Bitcoin mining in the United States, resulting in detrimental impacts on small businesses, local economies, the environment, and the climate.
Activists are calling on the Senate and Assembly to swiftly move this bill through both houses, and are demanding commitment from Governor Hochul to stop Bitcoin mining permits this session. A recent white paper from the Sabin Center at Columbia University laid out a clear legal case for Governor Hochul’s action on the issue. Eric Weltman, Senior New York Organizer with Food & Water Watch said:
“New York needs less fracked gas burned in our communities, not more. Bitcoin mining threatens to re-power the very fracked gas plants New Yorkers fought so hard to shut down. Every moment we delay, another company eyes another shuttered gas plant upstate. We can’t let Bitcoin take root in New York — we must pass a Bitcoin mining moratorium now.”
“New York State must take a step back from permitting further cryptocurrency facilities due to their massive carbon footprint, stemming from the computing power required to carry out the buying and selling of crypto coins,” said Richard Schrader, New York Legislative and Policy Director for NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “Our state has taken concrete steps to address the climate crisis with the CLCPA and crypto can’t get us sidelined. It’s time to deliver on the CLCPA’s greenhouse gas and climate justice goals, and accelerate the transition to a healthy, equitable carbon-free New York.”
“We are thankful that a moratorium bill is moving in the Assembly, but we need the Senate’s support in order to protect communities like mine,” said Yvonne Taylor, Vice President of Seneca Lake Guardian. “This relatively new, little understood industry is catching many small NY towns off guard, doesn’t provide many jobs, and derails our state’s bold climate law. We’re counting on our representatives to enact legislation that would take a pause to study crypto mining’s impact on our air, water, climate, crops, and jobs, and we need them to do it now.”
“Having passed New York’s landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, it is the responsibility of the Governor and the Legislature to ensure energy-hogging industries, like proof-of-work crypto mining, don’t jeopardize our crucial climate goals,” said Liz Moran, New York Policy Advocate with Earthjustice. “We applaud the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee for passing this bill through committee and urge the Senate to swiftly follow suit. Time is of the essence — the Legislature has the opportunity to demonstrate climate leadership and prioritize the protection of communities by passing this moratorium this session.”
Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]