The city of Plattsburg, located in the state of New York, has made history today. It is the first city that issues a temporary ban on mining operations, citing rising energy costs as the primary cause. According to an article by Motherboard, the vote held in the city council was approved unanimously in favor of the ban.
The particularity of the city setting has drawn mining operations to its location. The city enjoys one of the cheapest electricity costs in all USA, due to its vicinity to a dam used to produce hydroelectrical energy. Residents pay only 4.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, and the US cost is on average 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. But it seems like the amount of energy generated wasn’t enough for all miners to operate and still enjoy the benefits of the cheap power rate.
According to Mayor Colin Read, the city had to buy energy from the grid at normal prices because their energy network was overwhelmed with the demand. Then residents had to pay bills of over $200, when they were accustomed to paying a lot less. He stated:
I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints that electric bills have gone up by $100 or $200. You can understand why people are upset.”
This situation is worst, because industrial businesses pay less than residents due to regulations. So all this situation created tension between miners and the community.
Now that the temporal ban has been established, the community can work with the miners to find a fair solution to the problem. Solutions proposed are: make the miners pay the costs of the energy bought from the grid, or simply establishing a higher cost of energy for miners. But this will affect the attractiveness of the city as a miner haven. This temporal ban will only affect new mining operations on town; existing operations won’t be affected.