Tuesday, October 10, 2023

House Committee Meets Oct. 16 On Cryptocurrency Mining Moratorium Bill; Resolution To Study Potential Of Geothermal Energy From Abandoned Mine Pools

House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on October 16 to consider legislation imposing a temporary moratorium on air permits for cryptocurrency mining operations.

Also on the agenda are resolutions to study the geothermal energy potential of abandoned mine water pools and designating Climate Week in Pennsylvania.

The legislation includes--

-- House Bill 1476 (Vitali-D-Delaware) establishes reporting requirements for certain cryptocurrency mining operations and a two-year moratorium on air permits for behind-the-grid energy generation used for cryptocurrency mining

-- House Resolution 185 (Webster-D-Montgomery) directs the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on the feasibility of using geothermal energy technologies that utilize abandoned mining locations and operations in this Commonwealth (sponsor summary); and

-- House Resolution 228 (Otten-D-Chester) designates the week of October 1 through 7, 2023, as "Climate Week" in Pennsylvania (sponsor summary).

Cryptocurrency Background

The Committee had held a May 1 hearing on the cryptocurrency issue and climate change where environmental groups expressed concerns about the power consumption and environmental impacts of electric generation facilities used to support cryptocurrency operations.  Read more here.

On June 27, the Committee scheduled a meeting on House Bill 1476, but was asked by House Democratic Leadership not to consider the legislation. Read more here.

The Committee also scheduled House Bill 170 (Otten-D-Chester) extending setback safety zones around natural gas facilities for the same day, but that was not considered either.  Read more here.

On September 26, listed House Bill 1476 again for consideration, but again the Committee passed over the bill.

Rep. Vitali’s related bill-- House Bill 1282 exempting cryptocurrency data mining facilities from the state tax credit for data centers (sponsor summary)- was reported out of his Committee June 6 and is now in the House Rules Committee.

The meeting will be held in Room G-50 of the Irvis Building starting at 10:00 a.m.  Click Here to watch live online.

Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) serves as Majority Chair of the House Environmental Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-787-7647 or sending email to: gvitali@pahouse.net. Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-5075 or by sending email to: mcauser@pahousegop.com.

(Photo: Proposed Talen Energy bitcoin mining operation.)

Related Articles:

-- House Environmental Committee Holds May 1 Hearing On Cryptocurrency And Climate Change

-- Leadership Opportunity: Pennsylvania Should Make Mine Water Geothermal A Key Part Of Its Clean Energy Transformation

[Posted: October 10, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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