Pierre Rochard, vice president of research at Riot Platforms, said yesterday that Bitcoin is a net positive for the state.
The Senate Business and Commerce Committee heard evidence regarding a Texas bill that would ban flexible charging agreements between bitcoin miners and energy providers yesterday.
The law project aims to prohibit arrangements in which energy providers like ERCOT would pay bitcoin mining operators to shut down their facilities, freeing up now excess energy for use in emergencies or periods of high demand.
Bitcoin Policy Institute Lead researcher Natalie Smolenski notes in a tweet that the bill also seeks to “prohibit tax breaks for miners in Texas because ‘mining should already be growing in the state'”
Riot platforms Research Vice President Pierre Rochard testified that the company’s presence in Texas has beneficial effects on rural communities, employment and energy production.
“Bitcoin miners are Rockdale’s number one employer. Bitcoin miners are also Rockdale ISD’s top taxpayer. Bitcoin mining is good for rural education.
“Even if you’re skeptical of bitcoin, these cuts have been very effective in revitalizing rural communities.”
Proponents of the bill, such as its sponsor, State Senator Lois Kolkhorst, cite the state’s goal of increasing energy production, saying that the use of that energy by mining and subsequent shutdown agreements with ERCOT “are part of their business model”.
But as Bitcoin Magazine’s Mark Goodwin notes, renewable energy power generation curves, which represent a increasing proportion of state energy, will potentially improve, not degrade, with the use of bitcoin mining.