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In this edition, we dive into New York’s unprecedented crackdown on fossil fuel-powered cryptocurrency mining, and what it means for the energy-hungry industry.

Last week, New York became the first state to temporarily ban new permits for cryptocurrency miners that wanted to retrofit fossil fuel plants to power their operations. It’s the culmination of activists’ and lawmakers’ efforts to stop miners from restarting the polluting power plants as the state looks to slash its greenhouse gas emissions.

Whether they’re mined using fossil fuels or not, cyptocurrencies like Bitcoin have a huge climate impact. The industry’s energy consumption rivals entire countries’, so even if it turns to renewables, mining uses electricity that could be more cleanly powering homes, electric cars and other essentials. 

Still, other states are welcoming cryptocurrency miners, with questionable climate implications. Take North Dakota, where state officials are promising miners they could produce the “cleanest crypto on the planet” by taking advantage of the state’s growing wind energy resources. But that claim ignores North Dakota’s heavy reliance on coal power, and that its energy mix is dirtier than the national average.

Texas is also marketing its cheap electricity as an asset for crypto miners, despite the fact that the state has had trouble keeping the lights on when there’s high power demand. 

Cryptocurrency’s electricity usage, environmental impact and more will likely be under scrutiny throughout New York’s two-year permitting moratorium, and the ban adds to the industry’s fears that more states will follow suit.

More clean energy news

📮 The mail goes electric: An Atlanta warehouse serves as a testing ground for the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to use Inflation Reduction Act funding to upgrade its facilities to accommodate a new fleet of electric vehicles. (Washington Post)

🥤 These straws gobble carbon: Everyday products made from captured greenhouses gases are reaching commercial viability, even though they’re typically more expensive than petroleum-based alternatives. (Wall Street Journal)

🗺️ Traveling wind turbines: National laboratory researchers are testing “deployable wind” turbines that fit in 20-foot shipping containers, letting them be quickly sent to and assembled at disaster areas. (Utility Dive)

💡 Luck keeps the lights on: Policy measures — and some luck — prevented prolonged outages over the past year, but climate change is exacerbating threats to grid reliability. (Utility Dive)

🚌 Batteries on the bus: U.S. school districts face a busload of work as they prepare to spend federal funding on electric school buses and charging equipment. (Canary Media)

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Kathryn brings her extensive editorial background to the Energy News Network team, where she oversees the early-morning production of ENN’s five email digest newsletters as well as distribution of ENN’s original journalism with other media outlets. From documenting chronic illness’ effect on college students to following the inner workings of Congress, Kathryn has built a broad experience in her more than five years working at major publications including The Week Magazine. Kathryn holds a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism and information management and technology from Syracuse University.