Plattsburgh, New York is pushing to regulate crypto mining operations in order to protect their residents’ safety and wallets.
To thrive, Bitcoin mining operations require access to cheap electricity and – preferably – cooler climates. However, in the case of the former, this could result in non-mining entities, like city residents and businesses, having to pay higher tariffs when it comes to power. It’s not just about a bigger bill either. The high level of noise is a concern for people living or working close to mining operations.
There are a few courses of action in place in different cities. Some authorities feel that miners need to be paying more for electricity, while some areas, like Ephrata in Washington, have issued moratoriums to halt the approval of new mining operations in the city.
Customers Carry Expense
According to the Press-Republican, the city of Plattsburgh in New York believes that, like with most things crypto-related, more regulation is needed. A statement by the City of Plattsburgh Common Council reads:
The public is well aware that the cryptocurrency industry has been relying heavily on the city’s cheap industrial power rates.
These tariffs are due to the fact that the city’s Municipal Lighting Department (MLD) purchases cheap hydropower from the New York Power Authority operations on the St. Lawrence River. However, once this power is all used, the MLD needs to purchase more on the open market, which is not as cheap. In fact, its seven times more expensive.
This happened during crypto’s fantastic reign in December last year and January this year, which, in turn, resulted in MLD customers paying an extra $300 for their power. This then led to the city requesting the Public Service Commission to instruct crypto mining operators to pay for the surplus:
The city, and other similarly concerned municipalities, were successful in petitioning the Public Service Commission to impose a new tariff structure that requires the cryptocurrency industry to pay for the entire amount of electricity quota overages they induce. No longer would other ratepayers have to pay for a problem of the cryptocurrency industry’s creation.
Mining Should be Regulated
While trying to figure out the best way to deal with crypto mining in the city, authorities, like those in Ephrata, opted to introduce a 12-month moratorium on any new mining operations. During this time, a commission is being tasked with investigating the best solution moving forward. The press release explained what has been thought of so far:
The result of these efforts is a proposed local law which defines this activity, requires fire suppression within a contained structure, imposes heat and noise limits, and enacts zoning changes so that these mines would only be allowed via a special use permit within an industrial zone.
These regulations aren’t meant to stunt industry growth. It’s about finding the most suitable course of action for those living in these cities. The release concluded:
The combination of our petition to the New York State Public Service Commission and these sensible proposals to modify our local laws should protect our citizens and act as a model for other municipalities around the country and the world that are trying to cope with such rapid growth of this industry in their communities.
Do you think that regulating crypto mining is the best solution? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!
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