The New York State Legislature has passed a bill that would impose a two-year moratorium on the use of fossil fuel-fired power plants to supply power to miners of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but the bureau Gov. Kathy Hochul said Monday she hasn’t decided whether to sign him yet.
Cryptocurrency mining requires a lot of electricity to power computer systems that compete to solve mathematical puzzles to validate blockchain transactions. The miner who solves the puzzle first is rewarded with cryptocurrency.
The state Assembly passed the bill in April and the Senate passed it late last week. The governor’s office said Monday it was still weighing whether to sign the bill.
“There is a balancing act at play here, really a balancing act,” the governor said in a statement Monday.
“We need to balance protecting the environment, but also protecting the job opportunities that go to low-traffic areas, and ensuring that the energy consumed by these entities is managed properly,” she added. .
The bill is part of the state’s efforts to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050.
Cryptocurrency mining operations “is a growing industry in New York State” that will “significantly increase energy consumption” in the state, according to the bill.
To prevent cryptocurrency mining from increasing greenhouse gas emissions, the bill would impose a moratorium on the issuance and renewal of air permits for an electricity generation facility that uses a carbon base and provides the energy used by cryptocurrency mining operations.