With roughly nine months until major federal and state elections, New York State gubernatorial candidate Jumaane Williams is making crypto mining an issue in his campaign, criticizing the lack of regulatory clarity.

Speaking to climate activists and protestors at Seneca Lake in upstate New York on Monday, Williams called on current Governor Kathy Hochul to deny permits for proof-of-work crypto mining firms seeking to operate in the state, citing potential environmental concerns as well as any “harmful” economic impact. The gubernatorial candidate cited China’s crackdown on proof-of-work miners to back his claims.

“Twenty percent of America’s mines operate in New York state without any oversight or regulation,” said Williams. “We need to ask questions now rather than dealing with the fallout later by creating the right infrastructure to protect Seneca Lake and all of New York state from harmful economic and environmental impacts.”

Politicians and activists have often targeted crypto mining operations around Seneca Lake and across the state. In June, a bill that would have required miners in New York to halt operations for three years — but exempted certain projects operating on renewable energy — in an effort to slow…

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