Bill Text: NY A07389 | 2021-2022 | General Assembly | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Establishes a moratorium on cryptocurrency mining operations that use proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions; provides that such operations shall be subject to a full generic environmental impact statement review.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 50-0)

Status: (Passed) 2022-11-22 - approval memo.26 [A07389 Detail]

Download: New_York-2021-A07389-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK


                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions

                   IN ASSEMBLY

                                       May 6, 2021

        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  KELLES, ENGLEBRIGHT, LUPARDO, THIELE, GLICK,
          once and referred to the Committee on Banks

        AN ACT to establish a moratorium  on  the  operation  of  cryptocurrency
          mining  centers;  and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon
          expiration thereof

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.    Legislative  findings. The legislature hereby finds and
     2  declares that:
     3    (a) Climate change threatens the health, welfare, and economy  of  the
     4  state with increasingly severe and widespread impacts to our communities
     5  due  to  flooding,  sea level rise, heat waves, coastal erosion, erratic
     6  and unpredictable weather patterns, shifting climactic  zones,  loss  of
     7  wildlife,  increased  harmful  algal  blooms  and  invasive species, and
     8  increased risk of disease, in part, which  leads  directly  to  loss  of
     9  life,  property  damage  and  reduction in value, ecological damage, and
    10  increased infrastructure costs;
    11    (b) It is the policy of the State of New York to conserve, improve and
    12  protect its natural resources and environment and to prevent, abate  and
    13  control  water,  land and air pollution, in order to enhance the health,
    14  safety and welfare of the people of the state and their overall economic
    15  and social well-being;
    16    (c) To mitigate the current and future effects of climate change,  the
    17  State  of  New  York  implemented  the  Climate Leadership and Community
    18  Protection Act, requiring that statewide  greenhouse  gas  emissions  be
    19  reduced  eighty-five  percent  by  2050  and that the state has net zero
    20  emissions in all sectors of the economy by that time;
    21    (d) Cryptocurrency mining centers are an  expanding  industry  in  the
    22  State  of  New  York,  often, but not exclusively, located in retired or
    23  converted fossil fuel power stations, including dormant peaker plants;

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 7389                             2

     1    (e) A single cryptocurrency transaction uses the same amount of energy
     2  that an average American household uses in one month, with an  estimated
     3  level  of global energy usage equivalent to that of the country of Swed-
     4  en; and
     5    (f)  The  continued  and  expanded  operation of cryptocurrency mining
     6  centers will greatly increase the amount of energy usage in the State of
     7  New York, and it is reasonable to believe the associated greenhouse  gas
     8  emissions  will  irreparably harm compliance with the Climate Leadership
     9  and Community Protection Act in contravention of state law.
    10    § 2. (a) There shall be a three-year moratorium on  the  operation  of
    11  cryptocurrency  mining  centers in the state, including, but not limited
    12  to cryptocurrency mining centers located in converted fossil fuel  power
    13  plants.
    14    (b)   Cryptocurrency  mining  centers  shall  operate  only  following
    15  completion of a full generic environmental impact  statement  review  as
    16  authorized  under  NYCRR  §617.10(a)  of the State Environmental Quality
    17  Review Act. Any generic environmental impact statement required by  this
    18  act shall be conducted by the New York State Department of Environmental
    19  Conservation.  Such review shall include, but not be limited to, a cumu-
    20  lative impact assessment of the greenhouse gas emissions of any proposed
    21  or existing cryptocurrency mining center for the projected  lifespan  of
    22  the  center  and  any  associated water quality, air quality or wildlife
    23  impacts.
    24    (c) A cryptocurrency mining center that is determined  based  on  site
    25  specific  or cumulative impacts to adversely affect the state greenhouse
    26  gas emission targets in the Climate Leadership and Community  Protection
    27  Act of 2019 shall not commence construction and shall not be eligible to
    28  receive the necessary permits to operate in the state.
    29    § 3. Any generic environmental impact statement draft shall be subject
    30  to  120 days of public comment from the date of issuance. The department
    31  of environmental conservation shall conduct at least one public  hearing
    32  in  each  of  the  following regions of the state: western New York, the
    33  finger lakes, the southern tier, central New York,  the  Mohawk  valley,
    34  the north country, the capital region/Hudson valley, and the City of New
    35  York/Long Island, as defined by Empire State Development.
    36    § 4. For the purposes of this act:
    37    (a) "cryptocurrency" shall mean a digital currency in which encryption
    38  techniques are used to regulate the generation of units and currency and
    39  verify  the  transfer  of  funds, operating independently from a central
    40  bank;
    41    (b) "mining" shall mean the process  of  spending  computer  power  to
    42  process  transactions  and  add  such transactions to a cryptocurrency's
    43  blockchain; and
    44    (c) "blockchain" shall mean a digital  ledger  in  which  transactions
    45  made in cryptocurrencies are recorded chronologically and publicly.
    46    §  5.  This  act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be
    47  deemed repealed three years after such date.