3 - 5 minute read
In an effort to push back against proposed legislation that would remove incentives for miners operating in the state of Texas, three crypto advocacy groups launched a campaign named “Don’t Mess With Texas Innovation”. The Texas Blockchain Council, Chamber of Digital Commerce, and Satoshi Action Fund claimed that many aspects of the mining bill were antithetical to free-market principles. They also urged the people to reach out to lawmakers in opposition to the state’s Senate Bill 1751.
If passed, the legislation would amend sections of Texas’ utilities and tax code to add restrictions for crypto mining facilities. Currently, some crypto mining firms participate in a program organized by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which compensates them for adjusting their load on the state’s power grid during periods of high demand.
More than 22,000 people in Texas are employed by Bitcoin (BTC) miners, according to the three crypto advocacy groups. Some of the largest companies include Core Scientific, Riot Platforms, White Rock Management, and Argo Blockchain. But Argo recently announced that it would be selling its Texas facility to Galaxy Digital.
Chamber of Digital Commerce founder and CEO Perianne Boring said, “We need to send a strong message to policymakers that the people do not want protectionist policies that push innovation out of the market. At a time when folks here are concerned with the economy, jobs, and a reliable energy grid headed into summer, this bill is the wrong proposal at the wrong time.”
I guess Texas just doesn't get #bitcoin mining… pic.twitter.com/ZtxP0wN0bL— Justin (@jorkney5) April 9, 2023
Operations concerning Texas’ power grid face increased scrutiny after a massive winter storm in February 2021 left millions of residents without power and running water for days. These conditions have also contributed to damages to certain miners due to burst water pipes.
Experts have said that it was unlikely that crypto firms had contributed to the energy crisis in Texas due to them temporarily shutting down or scaling back operations as part of the ERCOT program. Still, some lawmakers, including Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, have probed ERCOT on the energy usage and potential environmental impact of crypto mining companies.
The campaign stated that “Bitcoin mining companies were able to curtail 50,000 megawatt hours of electricity in July 2022 alone to respond to record heat and energy demand, ensuring that Texans could continue to cool their homes. No other industry can perform the same service as efficiently or effectively.”
The proposed legislation that would remove incentives for crypto miners operating in Texas has sparked opposition from three crypto advocacy groups. The campaign, named “Don’t Mess with Texas Innovation,” urges the people to reach out to lawmakers in opposition to the state’s Senate Bill 1751. The proposed legislation would add restrictions to crypto mining facilities in Texas. According to the three crypto advocacy groups, more than 22,000 people in Texas are employed by Bitcoin miners. The opposition claims that the bill is antithetical to free-market principles and that crypto mining companies can perform a service no other industry can perform as efficiently or effectively. It remains to be seen how successful the campaign will prove, and whether the proposed legislation will pass.