(The Center Square) – After New York officials rejected the renewal of a power plant permit to a cryptocurrency mining operator, a Connecticut company is poised to file an appeal.
Giving Greenidge Generation a permit for its facility in Torrey, a town in the Finger Lakes 50 miles southeast of Rochester, would violate the state’s Climate Act and its standards for greenhouse gas emissions, according to the State Department of Environmental Conservation on Thursday.
According to the department’s statement, “among the criteria taken into account was the huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the facility following the implementation of the Climate Act, caused by the shift in the primary purpose of its operations.” The power plant currently largely produces energy behind-the-meter to meet the needs of Greenidge’s energy-demanding proof of work cryptocurrency mining operations, as opposed to just supplying energy to the state’s electricity grid.
After the decision, the Connecticut-based company said in a statement that it would not immediately cease operations because it thought “an unbiased legal system” would reverse what it called a “arbitrary and capricious decision.”
Greenidge further asserted that despite its proposal to reduce emissions by an additional 40% over the following three years and transform into a carbon-free facility by 2035, the DEC never contacted with it regarding the permit during the previous three months.
The statement stated, “They chose to forego the opportunity to meaningfully improve the environment, preferring instead to burden New York taxpayers with the cost of funding a protracted regulatory and court struggle that might have simply been avoided.”
A decentralised digital currency is cryptocurrency. It is produced or mined using sophisticated computer operations that use a lot of energy.
The most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is mined in large quantities in New York. About 35% of all Bitcoin being mined in the United States, according to information from the Columbia Climate School at Columbia University.
About 9.5 percent of the coins produced in the United States are produced in New York, which is in third place in terms of manufacturing.
The state has been urged to restrict the use of fossil fuels in cryptomining, though. Before its session concluded last month, the Legislature approved a bill that would have prohibited new mining operations that required permits for fossil fuels for two years. It wouldn’t have an effect on current operations.
While industry organisations like the Blockchain Association have urged Gov. Kathy Hochul to veto the bill because they claim it would not have the intended environmental effect because companies would invest in new mining facilities elsewhere, environmental groups are urging her to sign the bill into law.
The DEC’s decision demonstrates that there is no need for a moratorium, according to John Olsen, the state director for the Blockchain Association, who made the statement to The Center Square on Friday.
According to Olsen, “this judgement demonstrates that the executive branch already has the authority to intervene in individual cases regarding the mining issue. A general law that determines winners and losers in the rapidly developing field of technology is counterproductive and redundant.
Group Media Publication
Construction, Infrastructure and Mining
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