Pennsylvania Lawmaker Scraps Crypto Mining Ban to Advance Energy Conservation Bill

The state's Environmental Resources and Energy Committee accepted the amended bill on Monday by a slim margin.

AccessTimeIconOct 17, 2023 at 11:05 a.m. UTC
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A lawmaker in Pennsylvania's House of Representatives scrapped a proposed two-year moratorium on crypto mining permits from his own energy conservation bill to give it a better chance of moving forward.

Democratic Rep. Greg Vitali in June announced a plan to introduce the Cryptocurrency Energy Conservation Act specifically to impose the ban.

"The crypto mining industry is a massive energy user," Vitali said at the time. "Globally, crypto mining consumes more energy than the countries of Argentina and Australia. This high level of energy usage places more stress on the environment and accelerates the climate crisis, in addition to raising costs for consumers."

But on Monday, he tabled the bill to the state House of Representatives' Environmental Resources and Energy Committee without the moratorium. Both the bill and the amendment were accepted by the committee – which he chairs – with the bill making it through by a margin of one vote.

Vitali told the Pennsylvania Capital Star on Monday that he'd learned the hard way that "there is not a high tolerance for strong environmental policy," and that he stripped the moratorium to give the bill a chance to make it to the House.

Now the moratorium is gone, the bill sets reporting requirements for certain crypto-mining facilities and calls for an impact study from the Department of Environmental Protection.

U.S. lawmakers are increasingly wary of crypto mining and its energy implications, and New York imposed a two-year moratorium on new mining facilities last year. Miners, meanwhile, are lobbying for friendlier policies in Washington DC.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.

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