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.