When Gov. Kathy Hochul was asked about a bill requiring a two-year moratorium on new cryptocurrency mining, Hochul commented, “I understand the passion on both sides of the issue,” (“Hochul won’t commit to bill,” June 8). 
The passion of the many parties that worked to get this bill passed is clear. They want to keep the planet livable by giving lawmakers time to weigh the impact of an industry that uses huge amounts of fossil fuels. They are aware that UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently said that the world “will be uninhabitable” unless all countries reduce their fossil fuel use substantially.
The passion on the other side? It’s hard to believe that the money spent by cryptocurrency supporters on lobbying Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado is coming only from a concern about a future pandemic or about New York’s ability to compete in the market and create jobs in rural communities. It is more likely that the cryptocurrency industry wants to get a grip on idle fossil fuel power plants and manufacturing sites with unused electrical infrastructure that are cheaply available upstate.
The governor states that she wants to see that energy consumed by cryptocurrency mining is “managed properly.” Though it’s hard to see how an industry that consumes as much energy in a year as Norway does can be managed, her concern for its proper management is actually an argument for her to sign the bill to provide time to study the industry’s potential environmental impact.
Andrew Moss


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