The Pennsylvania House representative behind the project said he had to remove the ban due to pressure from different unions. According to the politician, this measure, which was intended to be a relief for the environment, received “chronic opposition” from the construction unions. The mining process requires the use of a lot of energy and, as a result, has raised concerns about its environmental impact.

A representative to the Pennsylvania House removed the ban on cryptocurrency mining that was provided in a bill for a period of 2 years. The politician assured that the decision was made after pressure from workers’ unions.

US Representative Greg Vitali introduced a bill some time ago with a two-year cryptocurrency mining ban clause. The objective was to regulate the energy consumption of the sector and minimize the environmental impact of this practice. However, due to pressure from different unions, the clause had to be deleted from the project.

Ban on Cryptocurrency Mining to Protect the Environment

Environmental advocates say the industry, drawn to Pennsylvania by cheap energy and tax incentives, poses a threat to the state’s climate goals and ecology. Due to the above, a two-year ban on cryptocurrency mining was contemplated.

However, the Pennsylvania House Environmental Energy and Resources Committee approved the “Cryptocurrency Energy Conservation Act,” the bill that included this provision. The approval was successful when it was learned that the clause mentioned above was deleted.

According to Representative Vitali, this measure was intended to be a relief for the environment. However, it received “chronic opposition” from construction unions.

“I think I learned the hard way in my first six months as majority speaker that there is no high tolerance for strong environmental policy… not even in my own group.”

With this temporary mining ban measure, the legislator intended to stop approvals of new and renewed permits to operate a cryptocurrency mining facility. After the elimination of said clause, the project is now limited to indicating the impact study on the miners’ operations.

Bitcoin or cryptocurrency mining is the process of verifying and adding transactions to the blockchain of the public Bitcoin network. This process is carried out by miners who use powerful computers that perform complex calculations to solve mathematical problems. In exchange for this, they are rewarded with newly created BTC.

The mining process requires the use of a lot of energy and, as a result, has raised concerns about its environmental impact.

New Tactics in Pennsylvania Instead of Opting for Mining Ban?

In August 2023, the Stronghold company was reported to have submitted an application to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). It involved a proposal to burn shredded tires as an alternative fuel source at its Nesquehoning plant.

Such measure aims to reduce the immense energy consumption involved in Bitcoin mining, a process that requires powerful machines that work 24 hours a day to solve complex algorithms. Without a doubt, this is a good alternative to the environmental and energy consumption problem that the practice of mining cryptocurrencies represents.

U.S. lawmakers are increasingly wary of crypto mining and its energy implications, and New York imposed a two-year moratorium on new energy sources to directly power crypto mining facilities, while allowing the state to collect data on such operations.

By Audy Castaneda


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