After remaining cryptic for months on the fate of the proposed two-year moratorium on crypto-mining, Governor Kathy Hochul has now signed the bill into law, as her administration’s long study of the bill coincidentally concluded shortly after she survived an unexpectedly close gubernatorial race. 

It’s a shame Hochul couldn’t have made her position clear prior to the election, giving voters a chance to judge her on this important issue. This episode will never be highlighted as a profile in courage. 

But her signing statement explaining her support for the law is quite a case study in political messaging. It serves up a word salad of Newspeak to obscure the contradiction between her avowed interest in developing the economy of Upstate New York by attracting jobs of the future, and her support for a law that will make it harder for the market to do that. 

Sadly, Hochul’s vision of supporting economic development is to pick political winners and give away taxpayer’s money to them. This is classic industrial policy, which has a long record of failure. But history is rarely a deterrent to politicians who think they’re smarter than the market.   

The moratorium is not even necessary to the bill’s underlying purpose – requiring the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to draft a generic environmental impact statement for crypto-mining operations to guide future air quality permit decisions. The DEC is perfectly capable of developing such a permit while evaluating current permit requests under existing rules. 

Hochul should have vetoed this bill. But as she noted in her signing statement, her decision was made with a nod to the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. That monumental act of top-down social engineering requires the whole of New York’s economy to be redesigned by politicians and bureaucrats not for the purpose of meeting the demands of consumers, but to achieve climate-related goals legislated by the political class. 

What could go wrong? Even more of what has already been going wrong economically in the Empire State – sluggish economic growth, population decline, the exodus of local employers, and the choice by out of state companies not to invest here at all. 

Hang onto your hats, New Yorkers. The crypto-moratorium is just one illustration of a burgeoning, CLCPA-driven assault on the vitality of the free market.

You may also like

Municipalized LIPA Won’t Solve Long Islanders’ Power Woes

If the power goes out under a fully municipalized LIPA, you can bet neither the Legislature nor public power advocates will accept the blame. Read More

Albany’s Underbaked, Overdue Budget Update Finally Arrives

The Hochul Administration has finally released an overdue budget report—which, on first look, shows the state's fiscal outlook virtually unchanged.  Read More

Hochul’s Pandemic Study Is Off to an Underwhelming Start

Although Governor Hochul's long-promised review of New York's COVID response hasn't formally started yet, it has already exposed important information about the state's pandemic preparedness – much of which is unflattering. Read More

Hochul Cryptic on Crypto

Governor Hochul faced questioning in this election’s only gubernatorial debate about whether she’d sign the cryptocurrency mining moratorium. Read More

OVERDUE: Governor’s key budget update

Governor Hochul’s budget office has yet to release the statutorily required mid-year financial plan update of the state’s fiscal outlook. Read More

New Docs Raise Big Questions About NY’s Megafab Mega-Deal

The Hochul Administration published a pair of documents concerning the Micron Megafab deal that raise more questions than they answer. Read More

Biden: Micron project will exclude local workers

President Joe Biden, visiting Syracuse to tout the planned Micron fab in Onondaga County, dropped a big detail. Read More

Hochul Not Showing Her Work on Micron Claims

The Governor says Micron is a great deal despite the price it will exact from the state’s taxpayers. But we haven’t seen the data and analysis explaining why. Read More

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!