On Friday, September 10, shareholders of Support.com voted to approve a merger with Greenidge Generation, a proof of work cryptocurrency mining facility, that will give the Bitcoin operation a large influx of funds and make Greenidge (GREE) publicly traded on NASDAQ.
The vote comes after Greenidge Generation was called out by both the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, claiming that the corporation’s operation is not in accordance with NY State Climate Law. This week, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos tweeted that Greenidge’s Title V air permit is inconsistent with the CLCPA (Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act). There is a public comment period deadline of October 22 with a public hearing on October 13. Yesterday, Senator Gillibrand released a letter sent to the Environmental Protection Agency, urging them to exert oversight on the Greenidge facility’s Title V air permit renewal.
“This is a damaging blow for New York and the US. This merger will enable Greenidge to expand into other communities across the country, significantly undermining both New York’s and our country’s bold climate initiatives. The Greenidge operation in the heart of the Finger Lakes region is already polluting our air, water, and environment and poses a threat to the surrounding agri-tourism industry, which is a substantial economic driver for New York State. We call on Governor Hochul, the NYSDEC, and the EPA to consider the current threat and deny Greenidge their Title V air permit renewal that would allow the corporation to continue this climate busting practice. In addition, we must regulate this emerging industry so that communities across the US can reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and adhere to the vital climate change initiatives being rolled out both statewide and nationally,” said Yvonne Taylor, Vice President and Co-Founder of Seneca Lake Guardian.
“The round-the-clock burning of fossil fuels required for cryptocurrency mining is incompatible with our state laws and policies as laid out in the CLCPA, and undermines any gains we can achieve through other sustainability efforts in building climate resiliency,” said Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper Executive Director Jill Jedlicka. “New York is a Great Lakes State, home to the largest freshwater system in the world that is already at risk and dealing with the negative impacts of climate change. Establishing and quickly expanding an unsustainable financial system that relies on burning of fossil fuels for profit for a small subset of the population is both shortsighted and extremely damaging to our Great Lakes system.”
“Bitcoin’s insatiable appetite for cheap energy wreaks havoc on the environment and must be brought under control,” said Irene Weiser, coordinator of Fossil Free Tompkins. “The fossil fuel industry is desperate to find new ways to earn money as the country turns to renewable energy. The Greendige-Support.com merger will allow Greenidge to buy more fossil-fuel power plants and repurpose them to mine more and more bitcoin. No doubt others in the industry will soon follow suit. Fossil Free Tompkins calls on New York State and federal officials to curb this nascent industry’s exorbitant energy use and put an end to their global warming emissions.”
Those interested in commenting on the situation and raising concerns to the DEC can contact Seneca Lake Guardian at www.senecalakeguardian.org and sign up to receive email updates. The full DEC statement about Greenidge Generation can be viewed here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/123728.html