Texas Power Plants Fuel Crypto-Mining Boom, Harm Black Communities

  • Sergey Maga
  • 10 July, 2024 01:49
Texas Power Plants Fuel Crypto-Mining Boom, Harm Black Communities

Texas is building new fossil fuel power plants to meet the energy demand from AI supercomputers and crypto-mining, worsening environmental injustices for Black communities. Last year, Black Texans suffered the most during the state’s deadliest summer, facing extreme heat and power grid failures. Despite clean energy being cheaper and more reliable, Texas subsidized $10 billion for new gas plants. Over 75% of these plants are in communities of color, increasing pollution and health risks, according to Capitalbnews.

ERCOT, Texas’ grid operator, predicts that much of the state’s growing power demand will come from data centers and crypto-mining operations. These industries consume vast amounts of energy and water, generating significant heat that requires constant cooling. As a result, new power plants are planned in predominantly Black areas, perpetuating environmental racism.

Experts argue that the state is prioritizing business interests over community health. The new power plants are expected to exacerbate existing pollution problems, which already pose a higher risk of death for low-income Black residents. Despite this, companies like Entergy are moving forward with plans to build in vulnerable areas, citing economic growth as justification.

The rapid expansion of crypto-mining in Texas has also increased electricity costs by $1.8 billion annually, impacting non-mining residents. This has created additional financial burdens for Black communities, who are more likely to invest in cryptocurrencies and borrow money for these investments, often believing the industry is safer than it is.

Activists and experts call for a shift towards renewable energy and better grid management to protect vulnerable populations and address climate change. However, the current trajectory suggests that Black Texans will continue to bear the brunt of the state’s energy and environmental policies.

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