In early May, Democrat senator Kevin S. Parker introduced a proposal seeking to ban Bitcoin mining in New York for three years. The Senate Bill S6486B has passed the upper house by a 36-27 margin and is now on its way to the Democrat-controlled Assembly.
As earlier reported by BTC PEERS, the bill will place a three-year moratorium on all Bitcoin mining activities in New York on environmental grounds. Consequently, new mining facilities will not be able to obtain permits to operate in an "electric generating facility that utilizes a carbon-based fuel." Furthermore, existing mining facilities are expected to cap their electrical consumption at current levels, with a mandate to create a "generic environmental impact statement" on proof-of-work mining.
For clarity, although Bitcoin appears to be at the center stage of the ban, the law includes other blockchains that utilize proof-of-work consensus.
The authors of the bill are particularly concerned about the recent practice of converting old power plants into massive Bitcoin mining operations. For instance, Greenidge Generation, a former coal-powered plant has been repurposed into a natural gas-powered Bitcoin mining farm. They wrote:
Many fossil fuel power plants have been shut down across the state in recent years due to reduced energy demand, improved transmission capacity, and non-economic carbon-based fuel sources… Consolidated operations that use proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions are bringing these plants back online, with behind-the-meter operations that greatly exceed the previous intermittent usage, and can cause significant negative impacts to air quality especially in environmental justice communities.
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