A Bitcoin mining operation in the Finger Lakes runs up against New York’s climate law

Link: https://gothamist.com/news/bitcoin-mining-operation-finger-lakes-runs-against-new-yorks-climate-law


Residents and business owners in the Finger Lakes region have been protesting for more than a year against a natural gas plant that has powered a bitcoin mining operation in the area. But the plant’s future faces even greater peril from the state as critics and officials say it flies in the face of an ambitious new state law designed to cut down on carbon emissions.

Since spring 2020, the Greenidge Generation power plant in Dresden, New York has powered a 24-7 bitcoin mining operation, wherein computer servers solve complex algorithms to collect electronic currency. It now supports nearly 20,000 computers that last year produced 1,866 bitcoins with a projected revenue of more than $100 million. The endeavor was so profitable that the company plans to double their computing power and increase power generation close to maximum capacity.

But Greenidge’s red brick smokestacks and metal transformers have long been at odds with the pristine vistas and vineyards of the Finger Lakes. Formerly a coal plant that shuttered in 2011, its revival is once again endangering the region environmentally and economically, according to some residents.

It’s also at odds with New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which mandates a reduction of economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and no less than 85% by 2050 from 1990 levels. And the conflict between the state’s climate goals and a burgeoning new industry reflects a growing tension nationally between the fight against climate change and the energy-intensive pursuit of mining for cryptocurrency.

Author(s): Rosemary Misdary

Publication Date: 17 Feb 2022

Publication Site: Gothamist

Why Coney Island and Brighton Beach were hit so hard by omicron



The two zip codes encompassing this region — 11224 and 11235 — have experienced 75 deaths per 100,000 people over the last month, a fatality rate nearly three times the citywide average. The pair of zip codes ranked only behind East New York when it came to the pace of COVID deaths between December 24th and January 20th, while their hospitalization rates were also among the highest in the city.

These two zip codes in southern Brooklyn also have lower vaccination coverage than the city as a whole, a common thread between most of the places hit hardest this winter. The area is averaging 66% full vaccination, compared with 75% citywide. In adjacent Gravesend, fewer than two-thirds of residents are fully vaccinated, and meanwhile, some parts of the city are approaching universal coverage.


Hospital leaders said undervaccination is having an outsized effect on these oceanside communities because the area’s demographics make residents prone to severe illness from COVID-19. In Brighton Beach and Coney Island, 26% of residents are over the age of 65, compared with about 14% in the borough as a whole. Many of those elderly residents also have underlying health conditions.


Citywide, 89% of New Yorkers between ages 65 to 74 are fully vaccinated, but the rate drops to 63% for people older than 85. Municipal data also show coverage varies by region and by other demographics. For instance, just 62% of white seniors in the Bronx are fully vaccinated, and only 65% of Black seniors in Brooklyn.

Author(s): Caroline Lewis

Publication Date: 7 Feb 2022

Publication Site: Gothamist