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2021 environment reviewed: The cryptocurrency mining controversy

2021 environment reviewed: The cryptocurrency mining controversy

2021 environment in review: The cryptocurrency mining debate

Protests against Greenidge Generation’s plans to expand its Bitcoin mining operation on Seneca Lake morphed into a statewide issue in 2021. (Vaughn Golden/WSKG)

WSKG takes a look back at the most pressing environmental issues of the past 12 months, and how they might move forward in 2022.

VESTAL (NY) (WSKG). A debate about cryptocurrency mining on Seneca Lake became a larger test of New York state climate law. It is expected that this test will come to an end in 2022.

After a Failed attemptLegislators are preparing a proposal to put a moratorium on certain energy-intensive cryptocurrency generation operations at the end of the 2021 legislatures session. Environmental activists are concerned about the potential impact of large-scale mining operations on climate change and how this could slow down progress by states in combating it.

The legislative effortWas largely Protests are a catalystGreenidge Generation, which is a natural-gas-burning power plant that also runs cryptocurrency mining operations on Seneca Lake in Yates County.

New York DEC is also examining whether to renew the Greenidge air quality permit.

The environmental regulator is concerned that the natural-gas-burning power plant will hinder the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is as per the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, or CLCPA.

The Greenidge site has, I believe, served as a test case to show how serious Gov. Hochul and Commissioner Seggos,” Yvonne Taylor, vice president of Seneca Lake Guardian, one of the earliest environmental activist groups to draw attention to Greenidge.

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Greenidge has gained support to counter the criticisms. The IBEW, the union of electrical workers in the United States, is one of the strongest allies for Greenidge.

“These mining facilities will need regular maintenance and upgrades as the technology advances, creating construction jobs including those for IBEW members, Addie Jenne, a lobbyist for the electrical workers union A state Assembly panel was informedThis year, earlier.

The DECs decision could be made as soon as this month. This may reflect a new standardLarge emitters in the state can apply to renew their air pollution permits.

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