Advocates seek moratorium on Bitcoin mining, denial of air permit for Finger Lakes facility

Advocates together with a former mayor of Plattsburgh are urging New York state to put a moratorium on cryptocurrency mining and to disclaim a permit renewal for a transformed energy plant used for crypto mining within the Finger Lakes area.

Greenidge Generation operates a pure gasoline energy plant within the Finger Lakes neighborhood of Dresden. The facility, previously a coal-fired energy plant, is used to energy hundreds of computer systems that generate bitcoins. The worthwhile operation generates tens of millions of {dollars} and the corporate is planning an enlargement.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recently extended its timeframe to decide on renewing the facility’s Title V air permit. The new deadline is June 30th.

Advocates are calling on the DEC to reject the renewal, and on Governor Kathy Hochul to impose a moratorium on so-called “proof-of-work” bitcoin mining.

Former Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read led a digital press convention Wednesday.

“Please observe the science. Deny Greenidge’s air permit renewal earlier than the first and put a moratorium on proof-of-work crypto mining. Let’s not play politics with our pocketbooks and our cherished financial system any longer, it’s simply too expensive. It’s killing the environment and localities,” stated Read.

While serving as mayor by means of 2020, Read launched a moratorium on new cryptocurrency mining that remained for 18 months. Bitcoin miners had been drawn to Plattsburgh for its low cost energy, and used a lot that native residents noticed their charges go up.

The advocates say utilizing fossil fuels to help cryptocurrency mining runs counter to the state’s clear power objectives and harms the native setting.

State Senator Rachel May, a Democrat from the 53rd District, has authored laws to scrutinize mothballed energy crops being introduced again on-line.

“I do have a invoice to ensure that sooner or later different dormant energy crops will not be introduced again on on-line and not using a full environmental assessment of all of the impacts from regardless of the operation is that’s proposed,” stated May.

May stated she’s involved concerning the trade’s impression on freshwater assets.

“We have these chilly water lakes which might be extremely essential ecosystems and to take that water, and notably that chilly water useful resource, to be chilling these crops as an alternative of to be supporting the trout fisheries and different capabilities that they carry out within the lakes themselves…I feel we have to be considering holistically about what this trade is doing and whether or not it’s appropriate in any respect concerning the objectives that now we have for the long run of our freshwater assets and our local weather,” stated May.

Dr. Robert Howarth, a Professor of Biology at Cornell and member of the New York State Climate Action Council, says the fossil-fuel powered Greenidge plant is out of line with carbon discount objectives set within the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

“So I do hope the DEC will act to not grant the Greenidge permit, and it’s simply completely inconsistent with the CLCPA,” stated Howarth.

Greenidge has touted its facility as a job creator that continues to be carbon impartial.

After the DEC introduced its delay in making a call on Greenidge’s air permit, the corporate issued a lengthy statement.

The assertion reads partially:

“…We are prepared to do excess of now we have already finished to additional scale back GHG emissions and assist the State obtain its statewide CLCPA objectives. Notwithstanding the noise from our few remaining opponents, this can be a normal air permit renewal governing permitted emissions ranges, not a cryptocurrency permit. Their efforts to mislead the general public – and to trigger our crew members and IBEW companions to lose their jobs with none foundation in legislation or reality – have been shameful.”

DEC supplied a press release to WAMC:

“DEC topics each software to all relevant federal and State requirements to make sure the company’s resolution is protecting of public well being and the setting and upholds environmental justice and equity, together with requirements associated to the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.”

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