According to media reports, the Texas House and Senate have some good news for Bitcoin miners in the state. Reportedly, the lawmakers gave approval to House Bill 591 paving the way for Bitcoin miners to use flare gas emissions.
A video making rounds on Twitter, featuring a message from the Texas Blockchain Council explains that the bill “clarifies” the sale of flare emissions for use by mobile data centers, which often include Bitcoin miners.
Furthermore, the speaker in the video suggests that the recent move would facilitate a “63% carbon impact reduction” by recycling waste flare emissions that would otherwise be vented or burned into the atmosphere. He adds:
It’s a great example of industries coming together to create economic activity, jobs, and tax revenue, while at the same time mitigating carbon emissions.
Sources reveal that a thorough examination of the bill showed the proposal was based on the idea of ratifying tax exemptions for the flare recycling process. Hence, this would prove helpful in lowering the cost of using this form of energy. It stated:
Relating to an exemption from the severance tax for gas produced from certain wells that are consumed near the well and would otherwise have been lawfully vented or flared.
Gas flaring is the burning of the natural gas associated with oil extraction. Reportedly, last year, gas flaring released an estimated 357 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e), of which 42 million tonnes CO2e was in the form of methane.
In recent times, lawmakers in Texas are proactively engaging with regulations for the sector. However, their approaches have been vastly contradictory. Last month, the Texas Senate gave unanimous approval to Senate Bill 1751 before moving it to the House and the governor. The proposed bill seeks to regulate how Bitcoin miners can interact with the power grid, and how their earnings will be taxed.
Notably, this bill stands in clear contrast to the usual pro-crypto attitude that the state authorities have had for years. It is also exactly opposite to the mining bill which was proposed by a Texas lawmaker in March. Cody Harris, a Texas House of Representatives member, proposed a Right to Mine bill. Harris asked his fellow lawmakers to rise in support of miners and “express support for protecting individuals who code or develop on the Bitcoin network.”
Nonetheless, Texas has largely been in favor of cryptocurrencies as well as mining activities. It has one of the largest presences in the Bitcoin mining industry, with the state accounting for 11.2% of Bitcoin’s total hash rate whereas the nation as a whole accounts for about 37% of the global hash rate. However, lawmakers in the US have not appeared very supportive of the idea of Texas being a mining hub.
While the energy consumption in crypto mining continues to be a topic of concern for lawmakers and organizations across the globe, several entities have advocated for the recycling of flare gas emissions to be an environmentally friendly process.
Reportedly, the World Economic Forum (WEF) greenlit the recycling of flare emissions in a recent video promoting Colorado-based Crusoe Energy. Crusoe is a company that utilizes this type of technology. Viewers pointed out that while the WEF video did not explicitly mention Bitcoin, Crusoe’s website stated that its computer systems are deployed for cryptocurrency, among other uses.