Activists Sue Recent York For Approving Bitcoin Mining Operation

Despite the growing appeal of crypto and the way it’s reshaping the world’s financial markets, some people just don’t want anything to do with it.

On January 13, two environmental groups named Clean Air Coalition of Western Recent York and Sierra Club filed a lawsuit against Recent York state agencies, namely: the Recent York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC), Fortistar North Tonawanda, LLC, North Tonawanda Holdings, LLC, and a Canadian crypto mining company Digihost International, Inc. within the Supreme Court of Albany County.

Clean Air Coalition and Sierra Club are each represented by Earthjustice.

GPU Cards are getting used for cryptocurrency mining. Source: SectigoStore

Violation Of The Big Apple’s Climate Law

The premise of the said lawsuit was on account of the approval of NYPSC of a fossil fuel-burning Proof-of-Work (PoW) crypto mining operation inside an influence plant of Fortistar (positioned in North Tonawanda).

The approval of NYPSC routinely violates the state’s sweeping climate law, specifically the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), Earthjustice said. 

Fortistar

Fortistar’s power plant was taken over for crypto mining operations. Source: Ted Shaffrey/AP

Based on court documents, the power can be operational 24 hours a day, seven days per week, and produce as much as 3,000% greater greenhouse gas emissions as a crypto mining complex.

That is the primary time a lawsuit of this sort has been filed to require compliance with the mandate of Recent York’s major climate statute.

Based on Chris Murawski, Executive Director of Clean Air Coalition:

“The PSC is failing in its role as a regulatory body to guard public health and to uphold the necessities of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Clean Air will proceed to fight against the burning of fossil fuels to generate power for cryptocurrency mining, especially in residential areas like North Tonawanda.” 

Bitcoin mining

Image: Watcher Guru

Crypto And The Environmental Impacts

Other than the apparent greenhouse gasses that an influence plant emits as a byproduct during its operation (which contributes to the rise of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide), the plaintiffs of the case argue that the communities surrounding the taken-over power plant have been greatly affected and are considered under the 2019 climate law as “disadvantaged communities.

This classification can bring huge consequences to the people of Recent York who reside near and are reliant on the Fortistar power plant.

Meaning those communities have higher probabilities of experiencing negative environmental impacts, which could be a huge and long-lasting burden to many individuals and families throughout the vicinity and operational radius of the facility plant.  

Crypto total market cap at $927 billion on the weekend chart | Chart: TradingView.com

For his part, Dror Ladin, Senior Attorney at Earthjustice, said:

“Recent York’s landmark climate law implies that agencies can’t ignore the climate and environmental justice consequences of their decisions.”

In the course of the clearance process, Clear Air and the Sierra Club voiced environmental concerns to the PSC. In response, Digihost stated in public papers that it will convert the power to renewable natural gas, with the final word objective of using 100% hydrogen by the tip of 2023.

-Featured image by The Independent

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