On Friday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation refused to renew the air permits of Greenidge Generation, a power plant and major crypto mining facility. According to the Ithaca Voice, the DEC found that the Seneca Lake plant was directing most of its resources to cryptomining that utilizes proof-of-work authentication, which is highly energy-intensive. In a public statement, Greenidge Generation called the decision “arbitrary and capricious”, and assured stakeholders that they are still able to operate while its old air permit is in effect. According to the Digiconomist a single bitcoin transaction consumes the same amount of electricity that an average US home does over nearly 50 days and has the same carbon footprint as watching almost 135,000 hours of YouTube.
Also on Friday, New York State passed a law banning guns in a wide range of public places. According to Business World, the law was in response to the Supreme Court striking down a more than 100 year old New York law that required people to demonstrate a special need to carry a gun in public. Under the new law, guns cannot be carried in government buildings, medical facilities, places of worship, playgrounds, parks, and summer camps, among many others. Law enforcement officials and registered security guards are exempt from these “sensitive-place” restrictions.
The Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to New York’s vaccine mandate for health care workers over its lack of a religious exemption. According to the Washington Post, this leaves in place a lower court ruling that rejected some health care workers’ claims that they were being forced to choose between their faith and their livelihood. New York State argued that a “limited medical exemption to a vaccine requirement does not require the State to provide a blanket religious exemption from vaccination.” Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented.
Keep up to date on local news. Follow us wherever you get your podcasts.