Greenridge Generation, a power generation company and Bitcoin mining firm, is reportedly facing an “uphill struggle” to comply with New York’s environmental laws. A regional activist group is pressuring the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), to close down the facility.
The Fight to Reach Emissions Goals
Basil Seggos, DEC Commissioner, stated that he is concerned about whether the mine operation will be able to meet the climate leadership and community protection requirements (CLCPA) in a conversation with WSKG News.
Although the commission was expected to make a decision on renewing the miner’s air pollution permits by March 31st., it has extended the deadline until June. After Greenridge submitted additional measures in its permit application to demonstrate compliance with the CLPCA, this was done before the March deadline.
Seggos stated that applicants owe it to them to read what they have submitted and to take a deeper dive into the information. Seggos said that if the applicant is able to comply with the law, we may be able to get a second impression. We believe that compliance with the law will be difficult for this facility.
Industry insiders as well as regulators have been critical of proof of work mining in recent years, citing concerns about its environmental impact. Bitcoin is the most prominent user of proof of work. It requires that network users use energy to mine blocks and receive block rewards.
Due to growing opposition, companies like Mozilla have distanced itself from cryptocurrencies. The company issued a statement this month confirming that they would accept proof of stake in cryptocurrencies. To secure the network, users must stake crypto rather than energy.
New York’s regulators are now also feeling the backlash. Seneca Lake Guardian, a non-profit that protects the Finger Lakes of New York, is calling on the DEC for a “moratorium” on Bitcoin mining. Vice President Yvonne Taylor called the delay by the commission a “political cowardice” that everyone will “suffer.”
Seneca Lake Guardian applauded Eric Adams, the NYC mayor, for speaking out against Bitcoin mining in February. Despite being generally supportive of digital assets,
Possibilities for sustainable energy
Greenridge claims that it is fully in compliance with current environmental standards. It claims that it is “no obstacle” to the state’s ability reach its GHG emission goals by 2030. The company promises to make its plant carbon-neutral in its commitment to the DEC.
This transformation is not surprising to Bitcoin miners. Mining is one of the most sustainable industries worldwide, despite its many criticisms. According to the Bitcoin Mining Council, 67.6% of all energy used in mining Bitcoin was generated from renewable sources. Norway, which accounts for 1% of the network’s power, mines entirely with hydroelectricity or wind.
Kevin O’Leary believes that more American miners will shift to renewables under the SEC’s carbon audit requirements. He claims that Bitcoin mining will save the world if the bill is passed.
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