Opponents of Greenidge Plant call for NYS to have moratorium on bitcoin mining
Burdett, NY (WENY)-- Local leaders who live on Seneca Lake, held a press conference on Monday, as the continued to push for New York State to deny the Greenidge Power Plant it's air permit.
Joseph Campbell, who is the President of Seneca Lake Guardian, says he hopes this gets the message to New York State Governor Kathy Hochul.
Campbell was joined by owners of wineries, land owners in the Town of Torrey, where the plant is located, and Jumaane Williams, a candidate running for New York Governor, at Forge Cellars in Burdett.
Campbell says the mining of bitcoin creates dangerous greenhouse gases, which can threaten the region.
"Now they are burning fossil fuel, emitting all these greenhouse gases, and there is no public benefit. It's all for private gain." Campbell explained. "And burning burning fossil fuels and emitting greenhouse gases for private financial gain, in the middle of what is a climate crisis, is the definition of insane."
Williams, who is from New York City, says there need to be changes made to the practice of bitcoin mining as quickly as possible.
"What we need to have happen is one, for them to deny any permits, and get some regulations here. So those two things need to happen right now and hopefully the governor will do that." He said.
Greenidge's current air permits are up for renewal, and were originally issued as a natural gas power plant, which was prior to the facility mining bitcoin.
Opponents, such as Campbell and Williams, say that Greenidge is doing more work than the permit allows for.
Campbell says the group wants Governor Hochul to issue a moratorium in proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining, and for the state to study the environmental effects these plants have.
"We are also hoping she can direct her DEC, commissioner Basil Seggos, to deny the existing air permit that's up for renewal, right now."
Campbell says there are two bills currently sitting in the Assembly and Senate that would address this issue, but Governor Hochul using her executive power would be the quickest way to address their concerns.