Texas needs them to cut it out.
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In an effort to avert a similar power grid disaster similar to the one that happened in 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is begging cryptocurrency miners in the state to shut down their operations in the event the power grid starts failing again in 2022. According to The Independent, Gov. Greg Abbott met with dozens of cryptocurrency miners in the state this past October and asked if they would be open to temporarily shut down mining operations in the state in order to sustain the grid’s energy needs through the winter. The idea is that if another winter storm like Uri hits the state and causes strain on the grid, the energy made up by the cryptocurrency mining operations will be more than enough to band-aid the problem so that citizens of the state don’t have to go without power in potentially lethal conditions again.
NBC News reports that more than 200 people died in Texas last year either directly or indirectly as a result of the loss of power to millions of customers when the grid faced near complete and total collapse. The state’s legislators, including Governor Greg Abbott, have passed bills designed to prevent this from happening again. Apparently, part of the plan includes begging cryptocurrency miners, who Futurism notes are typically not very down with government intervention particularly in their operations, to please play ball and not go crazy on the energy consumption. However, the outlet reports that at least two miners have said that they will abide by the request and shut things down if it comes to it.
CNBC also reports that others are following suit and bracing for the worst in the state. While surviving the winter remains a top priority, once the crisis passes, one wonders what this kind of request will mean for cryptocurrency miners who are looking to move their operations to the state. Perhaps it will make them rethink that decision for, say, a state where their work might not put lives in danger?
Fortunately for cryptocurrency miners — and, more importantly, the residents of Texas — it looks like the power grid is currently holding up amid another frigid February for the state. According to the Austin American-Statesman, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas reports that the power grid is currently functional and handling the demand. Unlike this time last year, its shows no signs of buckling under the current consumption rates by people and, yes, cryptocurrency miners, in the state.
In addition to cryptocurrency miners and the citizens of Texas, the power grid holding strong likely comes as good news to Governor Greg Abbott as well. After the deadly and embarrassing disaster for the state last year, he now faces a tough challenge both from Democrats and his own Republican party going into an election year. According to The Texas Politics Project, more than 60 percent of Texans took a look at the situation last year under Greg Abbott’s watch and now think, “yeah, we can probably do a lot better.” Whether or not the current governor’s strong position of “look, it didn’t happen twice, right?” will be enough to push his campaign through another term remains to be seen.