The Texas Blockchain Council — a trade advocacy group — launched a campaign to denounce a recent bill seeking to eliminate various incentives available for Bitcoin miners in the state.
The campaign — called “Don’t Mess With Texas Innovation” — intends to block the bill, which is due for voting by the state Senate.
The campaign is also backed by the Satoshi Action Fund and the Chamber of Digital Commerce. The website urges state residents to contact their representative senators and ask them to vote against Senate Bill 1751 as it will have an adverse impact on crypto-related innovation.
It also urges out-of-state supporters to email the Texas Senate and “urge them to vote NO on SB 1751.”
Texas Blockchain Council President Lee Bratcher said:
“This bill does not embody the free-market principles that have made Texas a global economic powerhouse.”
‘Don’t Mess With Texas Innovation’
The campaign raises four main points against SB 1751
It claims the restrictions will lead to consumers paying more for key grid services as Bitcoin miners “often provide these services at the lowest price.” If the bill passes, it will reduce competition in these services.
The bill would also negatively impact the more than 20,000 jobs created by the mining industry in rural Texas and is expected to cause a stagnation in the future growth of such jobs in a best-case scenario. While in a worst-case scenario, it could result in the elimination of current jobs.
The campaign argues that the bill arbitrarily excludes an entire industry from participating in the demand response program run by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) based on what the energy is being used for — which goes against free market principles. It further states that:
“This industry-specific limitation is particularly egregious given the large investments and job creation that miners have made in rural Texas.”
Additionally, the campaign claims the bill limits demand response participation at a time when Texas needs it the most. It argues that miners helped heat more than 1.5 million homes during Winter Storm Elliot by curtailing their energy use and are uniquely capable of diverting energy at a moment’s notice.
Senate Bill 1751 is sponsored by Texas State Senator Lois Kolkhorst and seeks to limit Bitcoin miners’ participation in ERCOT’s demand response program, which compensates firms for adjusting their load on the state grid during times of crisis.
Additionally, the bill will also eliminate tax incentives and subsidies put in place to attract miners to the Lone Star state in recent years.
Kolkhorst believes the incentives are no longer necessary and growth in the mining industry is expected regardless. She added that the bill is meant to “right size” the industry in the state.
The bill went through a public hearing on March 28 that included testimony from experts for and against the bill, which included crypto advocates like the Texas Blockchain Council.
SB 1751 is now pending official voting by the Texas Senate.