Crypto bill passed, wee beasties in NYC's water, and more
Introducing the Digest, a weekly roundup of local climate and Catskills news
A LITTLE HOUSEKEEPING: Hope you enjoyed your turkey, EoD readers. Or Tofurkey, if that’s more your speed. We don’t judge.
I’m launching a weekly digest of climate, energy, and rural Catskills news, with a dose of what we in the news biz call “voice” to make the inevitable wonky acronyms a little less painful. Paid subscribers will get the full thing, free subscribers get a few juicy items. If you’d like a sample before committing to subscribe, shoot me an email at email@example.com and I’ll send you this edition.
Got news tips? Stories we should be discussing in class? Thoughts on what would make this newsletter more useful to you? Talk to me.
TALE FROM THE CRYPT: The big climate news in New York this week is that Gov. Kathy Hochul finally signed the crypto moratorium bill, after months of dithering. Liz Moran can relax for a minute. Happy for you, Liz.
What the crypto bill does: Establishes a two-year moratorium on new permits for fossil-fueled power plants that seek to run huge, power-hungry proof-of-work crypto mining operations. Turns up the pressure on notable Bitcoin fanboy Eric Adams.
What it doesn’t do: Ban other forms of crypto production. Keep New Yorkers from YOLOing their life savings into weird investments. Stop the gas-fueled Greenidge Bitcoin power plant in the Finger Lakes from chugging away.
MUST READ: Colin Kinniburgh’s story in NY Focus this week, “To Meet Climate Mandate, New York Needs To Learn How To Build Clean Energy Again.” I talk a lot about how most local news outlets don’t invest in climate beat reporters. To its credit, NY Focus does. Colin is very, very good. And so is this story: a hard-nosed look at the mismatch between New York’s lofty climate goals and the sluggish pace of buildout on the wind, solar, battery storage, and transmission projects needed to make those goals actually happen.
PASS ON GAS? A popular local climate campaign has Beacon contemplating a ban on gas-burning in new construction. If Beacon passes a law, it will be the third city in New York to do so, behind New York City and Ithaca. According to
me the Times Union, the proposed bill faces some pushback from Beacon mayor Lee Kyriacou, who doesn’t appreciate city council members taking the initiative on legislation.
OVERHEARD: “We have an economic opportunity of biblical proportion” — Dennis Elsenbeck, head of energy and sustainability at the law firm Phillips Lytle, telling fellow members of the New York State Climate Action Council on Nov. 21 that they need to get better at talking up the job-creating opportunities in New York’s transition away from fossil fuels.
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