A bill to ban fossil-fuel-powered cryptocurrency mining has passed the Senate in New York state.
Assembly Bill A7389C passed in the Assembly in late April, but days before the cutoff for any new legislature on June 2nd, it had failed to be assigned a date to be examined further before it could be voted in the state Senate, and go on to become law. However, an influx of phone calls supporting the bill ensured it reached the Senate and subsequently passed on June 3rd.
"Hundreds of people calling by the hour every day for the days leading up to the final hours of session proved to legislative leadership how concerned New Yorkers were. The voice of the people was the most important factor in driving this bill over the finish line," New York state Assembly member Anna Kelles, sponsor of the bill, wrote in an email to The Daily Beast.
It is now up to Governor Kathy Hochul to sign or veto the bill to determine whether it passes into law. The bill introduces a moratorium on any proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining powered by fossil fuels for two years. The bill aims to help New York state reach the climate goals set in 2019 when it passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), including targeting an 85% reduction in emissions by 2050.
"Our efforts to secure enough votes in opposition to the bill were essentially thwarted. We were certainly surprised ... between being told that this bill is likely not going to move, to 24 hours later, it's on the Senate floor," John Olsen, New York state lead of the Blockchain Association, told The Daily Beast.
"It has been estimated that proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining alone could put us over the 2.0 degree centigrade increase in global temperature, a tipping point for runaway climate change. We simply cannot afford to allow proof-of-work cryptomining to endanger New York's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet our climate goals," said Kelles.
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