With less than nine months until the main federal and state elections, New York State gubernatorial candidate Jumaane Williams has made crypto mining a campaign topic. The absence of regulatory certainty faced criticism.
Williams, speaking to climate activists and protestors on Monday at Seneca Lake in upstate New York, called on current Governor Kathy Hochul to deny permits for proof-of-work crypto mining companies. Trying to get a licence to do business in the state. Potential environmental issues, as well as any “harmful” economic consequences, were cited. China’s crackdown on proof-of-work miners mentioned by the gubernatorial contender to back up his assertions.
“New York state is home to 20% of America’s mines,” Williams remarked. “Rather than dealing with the aftermath later, we need to ask questions now by putting in place the proper infrastructure to protect Seneca Lake and New York State from negative economic and environmental consequences.”
Crypto mining activities have been frequently a target for politicians and activists in the Seneca Lake area and across the state. In June, a bill that would have obliged miners in New York to suspend operations for three years — but exempted certain projects using renewable energy — was defeated in the state legislature in an attempt to reduce crypto’s environmental impact.
Endangering the habitat of various fish species and harming the environment
In the vicinity, Greenidge Generation’s Bitcoin (BTC) plant is operational. With the goal of dedicating 85 megawatts to crypto mining by 2022. Residents surrounding Seneca Lake have previously complained that Greenidge’s plant was heating the lake and producing greenhouse gases. Endangering the habitat of various fish species and harming the environment in general.
The corporation has frequently disputed such claims, threatening to use “all legal measures possible” against those who make them. Greenidge also chastised by New York Commissioner of Environmental Conservation Basil Seggos. Who said in September that the company “has not proved compliance with NY’s climate law”. In reference to their BTC mining operations.
Hochul has only been governor since August, following the resignation of former governor Andrew Cuomo. But he will face Williams and other gubernatorial contenders in November 2022. Hochul appointed Adrienne Harris to run the New York State Department of Financial Services during her tenure as governor.