A bill to restrict crypto mining is being passed by the New York Legislature

Albany, New York (AP) – an important measure that would stop the spread of cryptocurrency mining operations …

ALBANY, NY (AP) – The state legislature has taken an important step to halt the proliferation of cryptocurrency mining operations that burn fossil fuels.

The bill, approved early Friday by the state Senate, calls for a two-year moratorium on new and renewed air permits for fossil fuel power plants used for energy-intensive crypto-mining “proof-of-work.” Proof-of-work is a blockchain-based algorithm used by bitcoins and some other cryptocurrencies.

The bill, which supporters are promoting as the first of its kind, is now being sent to Democratic Gov. Katie Hochul.

Proponents of the cryptocurrency industry have said the measure, aimed at power plants that burn fossil fuels, will hamper New York’s economic development.

Environmentalists who lobbied for the bill said natural gas-fired power plants used for cryptocurrency operations threaten the state’s ability to meet long-term climate goals.

“After the bill was passed, the legislature rightly said that fossil fuel power plants cannot get a second life in New York just for the benefit of private industry, which will not affect the state’s climate mandates,” said Liz Moran of Earthjustice in a statement.

Environmentalists have estimated that there are 30 factories in New York that can be converted into mining.

The coalition groups separately called on the administration to refuse to renew the air permit for Greenidge Generation in Finger Lakes, which also generates electricity for the state grid. The decision may come at the end of the month.

The measure will also require the state’s Department of the Environment to conduct an environmental impact assessment of how cryptocurrency mining affects the state’s ability to meet its climate goals.

The bill was passed by the Assembly, the lower house of the legislature, in April.

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