Mayor of Plattsburgh, Colin Read, expressed his concerns about the amount of electricity used for mining cryptocurrencies around the city. He proposed the introduction of a law prohibiting the mining of virtual coins for at least 18 months.
During the ban period the officials will be able to review zoning and land use laws and regulation by the municipal electricity department in accordance with the emerging electricity shortage problem which is happening because of mining.
Read emphasizes that the city used to receive electricity with a significant discount due to a deal signed during the construction of the hydropower plant on the St. Lawrence River back in the 1950s. The energy consumption of the mining groups creates the need to purchase electricity on the open market, where tariffing can be 100 times higher.
The proposed bill will be discussed at a public hearing on the 15th of March. According to the text of the bill, the ban will give time for discussions before commercial operations in the field of cryptocurrency mining will lead to an irreversible change in the nature and direction of the city’s development.
After the statement of the mayor, one of the local miners gave an interview to WCAX. David Bowman from Plattsburgh BTC says he understands the authorities’ desire to keep cheap electricity, but he does not see the need for a complete ban.
“You know you need to like protect people in the town from being adversely affected by increased electricity rates but I think there are ways to do that like possibly charging the miners more,” Bowman said. “I think it’s not a great idea to just completely ban the whole thing — it’s just too new.”
Similar bans have already occurred in the US, particularly in the Chelan district of Washington, where a moratorium on high energy consumption by customers was introduced in 2016, which also affected mining enterprises.