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November 22, 2022

Earthjustice Applauds NY Gov. Hochul for Signing First-in-the-Nation Cryptocurrency Mining Moratorium

Victory: Per White House recommendations, law puts two-year pause on cryptocurrency mining in fossil-fueled power plants and requires DEC study

Contacts

Nydia Gutiérrez, Earthjustice

Marissa Solomon, Pythia Public

Albany, NY

Today, Governor Kathy Hochul signed the long-awaited cryptocurrency mining moratorium. The law will put a two-year pause on new and renewed air permits for fossil fuel power plants that house proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining, and require the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to conduct a study into the practice’s environmental impacts.

Liz Moran, New York Policy Advocate at Earthjustice, issued the following statement:

“This first-in-the-nation law should set the standard for every other state where crypto miners are coming in, extracting resources, and wreaking havoc. Thank you, Governor Hochul, for setting a precedent for the rest of the country and staying true to New York’s climate law mandates. And thank you to the bill sponsors — Assembly Member Anna Kelles and Senator Kevin Parker — and all of the advocates who were critical to this effort. We’re very much looking forward to the DEC’s fact-finding review, which we’re confident will affirm what Earthjustice and the White House have already concluded: crypto mining is a major threat to climate security and needs to be closely regulated.”

By signing this bill, Governor Kathy Hochul cements New York as the first state to enact policy that aligns with the White House’s recommendations on cryptocurrency mining. In September, the Office of Science and Technology Policy released a report about the industry’s climate threats and the need for regulation. But cryptocurrency mining continues to grow rapidly across the country. Earthjustice and the Sierra Club recently released a new Guidebook, finding that in just one year, Bitcoin mining in the U.S. alone consumed as much electricity as four states combined, emitting 27.4 million tons of CO2 — equivalent to the emissions of as much as 6 million cars annually.

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About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.