With New York lawmakers levying a ban on new non-renewable crypto mining operations, Greenidge Generation (NASDAQ:GREE) stock is a play to watch. The company, anchored in upstate New York, has already been an adversary of environmentalists in the region. Now, Greenidge could have things much harder as the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) debates on a new air permit for the company.
Greenidge is one of the most notable crypto mining operations in the continental U.S. Its natural gas-burning plant in Dresden, New York came to be after the company bought an unused coal plant and outfitted it for crypto. It’s also one of only a few publicly-traded crypto mining companies based in the U.S.
In the last two years, Greenidge has caused a bit of tension in the region, especially from environmental activists. A major point of contention is the site’s output of hot water into Seneca Lake. Locals complain that the temperature changes are affecting the local fish population. It has even caught the attention of policymakers like Senator Elizabeth Warren. Last December, Warren wrote to the company looking for clarity over the environmental impact of its operations.
So when news broke that New York state would be putting a two year moratorium on new, carbon-based crypto miners, investors immediately thought of Greenidge. As a natural gas-burning plant, Greenidge would fall under the limitations of the moratorium. Luckily for the company, the moratorium doesn’t extend to existing farms. And Greenidge stated this in its response to the moratorium. But, that doesn’t mean the company is home free just yet.
GREE Stock Not Free Yet, Still Pending a DEC Permit
The moratorium may not be affecting Greenidge directly; but, the shift in attitude from NY lawmakers could produce more hurdles for GREE stock. The company is subject to a major decision over its output of pollution. This could cause it troubles even as it dodges the moratorium bullet.
Indeed, the moratorium is showing a growing scrutiny being placed on the crypto market by the NY state government. While the ban is in place, agencies will conduct a series of studies into the environmental impact of cryptocurrency. The expectation for this moratorium is that these lawmakers will be able to make more permanent decisions on the industry after becoming better informed on the nature of it.
But while Greenidge can keep chugging along, it still has the DEC’s upcoming air permit decision to worry about. In 2021, the company applied to renew its air permit with the DEC. This permit rules on how much greenhouse gas the company can produce with its operations. With a decision expected early in 2022, the DEC ended up pushing the decision back to the end of March. It pushed this decision back again in the spring to June, and it is expected to deliver its decision any day now.
So while Greenidge is home free from today’s moratorium, it could just as well be barred from conducting its operations if the DEC denies the company’s application. There’s reason to believe it might just do that, too, given the success of the new ban. In the wake of this news, GREE stock is trading down by 5%.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.