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Texas Law Makers Mull Anti-Crypto Mining Legislation

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Texas crypto mining
Texas crypto mining

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Three cryptocurrency advocacy groups have started a campaign to respond to the proposed bill intended to eliminate several incentives for miners operating in Texas. The report comes after an April 10 announcement by the Texas Blockchain Council, Chamber of Digital Commerce, and Satoshi Action Fund.

In the announcement, the three groups appealed to Texas residents to appeal to legislators and oppose the state’s Senate Bill 1751. If this legislation were passed, it would require the amendment of sections of Texas’ utilities and tax code. It would also demand the addition of restrictions for cryptocurrency mining facilities.

Notably, this bill is different from the recent one where the Texas House and Senate proposed identical bills for creating a state-based digital currency backed by gold.

Don’t Mess With Texas Innovation

The campaign, led by the three advocacy groups, was christened “Don’t Mess With Texas Innovation.” It defines a play on the state’s anti-littering catchphrase, which multiple legislators have used in the past when referring to government overreach.

According to the campaign, multiple sections of the mining bill directly opposed or contrasted free market principles. As it stands, certain cryptocurrency mining companies are allowed to take part in a program organized by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). This consortium compensates the miners for adjusting their load on the state’s power grid, especially during times when the demand is high.

In a statement, 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.

Texas Power Grid Operations Under Scrutiny

Noteworthy, Texas power grid operations have been under the hawkish eye of federal and state lawmakers and regulators. The scrutiny started in February 2021 when an expansive winter storm left millions of residents without power and running water for several days. Conditions of this kind have played a role in damaging some miners because of broken water pipes.

Experts have opined that it was highly unlikely that cryptocurrency companies contributed to the energy crisis in Texas in 2021. According to these industry pundits, their move to temporarily shut down or scale back operations in accordance with their ERCOT program was ideal.

It is worth mentioning that ERCOT has been at the center of investigations by certain lawmakers, including Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. In their probe, the legislators wanted to determine the organization’s energy usage as well as the potential environmental impact that cryptocurrency mining companies have.

No Other Industry Can Perform The Same Service As Efficiently Or Effectively

In the latest development, however, the three cryptocurrency advocacy groups insist that “Bitcoin mining companies were able to curtail 50,000 megawatt hours of electricity in July 2022 alone.” This was in response to record heat and energy demand and ensured that Texans (the residents of Texas) could continue to cool their homes.

This, according to the Texas Blockchain Council, Chamber of Digital Commerce, and Satoshi Action Fund, was a stellar achievement given that:

No other industry can perform the same service as efficiently or effectively.

In their opinion, Bitcoin miners have employed over 22,000 people in Texas, with some of the largest employers being companies like Core Scientific. Others include Riot Platforms, White Rock Management, and Argo Blockchain. In a December announcement, however, Argo said it would sell its Texas facility to Galaxy Digital.

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