On March 22nd, 2022 the Environmental Conservation Committee of the New York State Assembly voted to pass bill A7389C. This would enforce a 2 year period where no Bitcoin or cryptocurrency mining may be conducted in the state by electric generating facilities (power plants).
The provided reasons for the ban include:
- The threat of climate change and that it may disrupt the health and welfare of the economy.
- To preserve, improve, and protect the environment by preventing land, air, and water pollution.
- To mitigate and prevent future effects of climate change in accordance with a net zero carbon emissions plan for the year 2050.
- Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies that use a PoW mechanism for validating transactions on their blockchains will greatly increase carbon emissions and is considered to be antithetical to the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
The bill goes on to explain that all current PoW mining operations conducted by electricity plants will be unable to renew a permit to mine with carbon-based fuel. This also includes new miners who seek a permit in the next two years after the bill is passed.
The Department of Environmental Conservation will be required to produce a Generic Environmental Impact Statement for the New York State Senate.
This statement will include:
- The number and locations of each PoW mining operation in New York.
- The amount of energy being consumed by each of these mining operations.
- The source of their electric energy.
- The amount of greenhouse gas and co-pollutants for each of these energy sources.
- Projections for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining operations within the state.
- Potential impacts to the environment.
- The amount of water being used by each mining operation.
- Potential health impacts of these PoW mining operations.
- The social and economic impact for the state as well as current and future costs.
Governor Kathy Hochul would need to sign the bill in order for the ban to take place. This process may take anywhere from a few days to weeks once the Governor receives the bill.