Environmental advocates are redoubling their efforts to persuade New York officials to decline an air permit renewal for a cryptocurrency mining facility in North Tonawanda. They assert that the operation imperils residents’ quality of life and undermines the state’s climate objectives, as per a report by Mark Scheer for the Niagara Gazette.
Battle Brews Over NY Cryptocurrency Mining Renewal
The environmental law group Earthjustice has partnered with local residents to implore Kathy Hochul, the state’s governor, and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to reject the renewal request from Digihost. The Gazette report highlights that the company operates a cryptocurrency mine at the former Fortistar power plant site.
Critics contend that the energy-intensive operation generates noise pollution and poses environmental hazards. They desire the DEC to adopt the same stance it took last year when denying an air permit renewal for a cryptocurrency miner in Yates County. The agency maintained that the operation conflicted with New York’s mission to reduce emissions.
“Digihost claims to be part of the climate solution, yet they plan to emit more than 300,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year,” stated Earthjustice attorney Jessamine De Ocampo. However, Earthjustice’s statistics contradict recent reports that demonstrate bitcoin miners contribute positively to the grid and others convert flare gas into energy to produce bitcoin.
Nearby homeowners like Kevin O’Connor, however, claim they have experienced numerous sleepless nights due to the noise. Others are concerned that the facility will impede North Tonawanda’s climate initiatives, although they may be relying on potentially biased opinions from environmental groups associated with political parties.
For instance, an employment overview of Earthjustice indicates that “Earthjustice employees are most likely to be members of the democratic party.” Despite Digihost’s promises of job growth, an economics professor quoted by Scheer asserted that cryptocurrency mines generally employ fewer people than a fast-food restaurant.
Activists have initiated a letter-writing campaign urging the state to reject the air permit. They contend that cryptocurrency mining relies on fossil fuels rather than clean energy. “To meet the benchmark goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, as well as protect the health and wellbeing of residents, we must work to rein in our use of fossil fuels,” declared local organizer Bridge Rauch.
What do you think about the environmentalists looking to stop a crypto mine from operating in New York? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.