In a surprising turn of events, a Texas state bill aimed at restricting bitcoin miners’ involvement in cost-saving grid programs has been halted, failing to progress past a committee in the state House of Representatives. Bill SB 1751, which had received unanimous approval in the state Senate back in April, would have imposed a 10% cap on Bitcoin miners’ participation in demand response programs and eliminated tax abatements for the industry.
The announcement of the bill’s setback was made by Dennis Porter, an advocate closely involved in the legislative process. Porter expressed his delight, stating, “This win ensures that energy innovation will continue to grow in the U.S. and highlights the power of the bitcoin community.” He acknowledged the pivotal role played by the Satoshi Action Fund, the Digital Chamber of Commerce, and the Texas Blockchain Council in opposing the bill.
Remarkably, the bill failed to gain traction in the House committee responsible for recommending it to the full legislature, as they never voted on it, according to Porter’s statement. This outcome marks a significant victory for the Texas bitcoin mining community, which benefits from favorable regulations and inexpensive energy, making the state one of the largest mining hubs globally.
While states like New York have recently taken a strong anti-crypto stance, the implications of the proposed Texas legislation could have had far-reaching consequences, potentially undermining the operations of bitcoin miners within the state. Given Texas’s separate power grid, which has faced challenges such as surge pricing and outdated infrastructure, the addition of energy-intensive mining practices could exacerbate existing problems and contribute to power shortages experienced by residents.
However, it is important to note that bitcoin miners in Texas have also proven to be a valuable resource during times of crisis. When severe weather conditions caused power outages last December, miners were compelled to shut down their operations, resulting in a 35% drop in hash rate. However, they later played a crucial role in restoring up to 1,500 megawatts of power to the struggling local infrastructure, showcasing their adaptability and willingness to contribute to the community.
The fate of the bill, which was discussed in a hearing by the Texas State Committee on Business and Commerce on March 28, remains uncertain. This legislative divide regarding cryptocurrencies is reflective of the broader nationwide divergence of opinions among lawmakers and states.
Interestingly, while several states have been passing their “Right to Mine” bills to support crypto miners, the issue of Bitcoin mining in Texas has been contentious, mainly due to concerns surrounding the state’s faltering power grid. In response, Senator Elizabeth Warren and a group of senators previously called for data on the energy consumption and environmental impact of bitcoin mining facilities based in Texas.
This recent setback for the proposed bill in Texas follows the Montana Senate’s passage of a groundbreaking bill aimed at protecting struggling crypto miners from discrimination against their operations. Similarly, the Mississippi Senate approved the “Right to Mine” bill, recognizing the potential economic benefits of mining and its ability to stabilize the energy grid.
As the Bitcoin mining industry navigates through a complex legislative landscape, the failed progression of Bill SB 1751 in Texas serves as a significant milestone for the state’s miners, safeguarding their operations and the state’s reputation as a prominent player in the crypto mining arena.
Attractive Title: “Texas Bitcoin Miners Emerge Triumphant as Controversial State Bill Hits Roadblock, Protecting Innovation and Energy Growth”