Energy Conservation Bill Progresses as Pennsylvania Lawmaker Revises Stance on Crypto Mining Ban
In a closely contested vote, the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee of Pennsylvania greenlit the revised bill on Monday.
A member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives has opted to exclude a proposed two-year halt on cryptocurrency mining permits from his own energy conservation legislation, aiming to bolster its chances of progression.
Democratic Representative Greg Vitali had previously unveiled plans in June to introduce the Cryptocurrency Energy Conservation Act, with the specific intent of enforcing the suspension.
"The crypto mining industry is a significant energy consumer. On a global scale, crypto mining consumes more energy than entire countries like Argentina and Australia. This heightened energy consumption not only strains the environment but also expedites the climate crisis, all while leading to increased expenses for consumers."
However, on Monday, he submitted the bill to the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee of the state House of Representatives sans the proposed suspension. The committee, chaired by Vitali himself, endorsed both the bill and the amendment, with the bill narrowly passing with just one vote in favor.
Speaking to the Pennsylvania Capital Star on Monday, Vitali shared that he had gleaned from experience that "there is not a high tolerance for strong environmental policy." He made the decision to remove the suspension in order to give the bill a fighting chance of progressing through the House.
With the suspension now off the table, the bill delineates reporting obligations for specific crypto mining facilities and calls for an impact evaluation from the Department of Environmental Protection.
U.S. lawmakers are increasingly exercising caution regarding cryptocurrency mining and its implications for energy consumption. Last year, New York imposed a two-year freeze on new mining facilities. Meanwhile, miners are actively advocating for more favorable policies in Washington DC.
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