In an effort to limit the environmental impact of bitcoin mining in the state, the New York State Legislature yesterday passed a bill imposing a two-year ban on all new proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrency mining facilities within its jurisdiction.
The bill passed as part of New York’s Earth Day package.
State Senator Anna Kelles announced on Twitter that her bill would also suspend the renewal of licenses for existing PoW crypto facilities that are seeking to increase their power consumption.
However, the ban will extend to mining operations in the state that use carbon-based fuels as a source of electricity.
The bill passed a key stage of approval by the state legislature by a vote of 95 to 52. It will now be advanced by Sen. Kevin Parker for support in the state Senate. After this stage, the bill goes to Governor Kathy Hochul, who can choose to sign it into law or veto it.
If implemented as law, the proposal would require the Department of Environmental Protection (DEC) to submit a “Generic Environmental Impact Statement” to locate, calculate and assess the impact of PoW miners on greenhouse gas emissions and public health.
The bill faced strong opposition from crypto advocacy group Blockchain Association, which called on “pro-tech, pro-innovation, pro-crypto” New Yorkers to write to senators opposing the bill.
After the bill passed, the association argued that after a three-hour discussion in the house about its impact, they presented “more opposition to the mining ban than supporters thought”. In a tweet, the advocacy group said it will continue to fight the “anti-tech bill.”