Yesterday, it was my absolute honor to attend the committee of the whole hearing and watch history being made in Missoula. In front of a packed crowd, the county commission and city council voted to support a bold vision for a greener, healthier community, one powered solely by clean, renewable energy.
That commitment was a huge step forward, and it’s worth celebrating.
But today, the hard part begins. Today, and every day after it, we have to take concrete steps to bring us closer to meeting our commitments and to creating the world we want to live in.
It’s not going to be easy. Climate change is an unprecedented challenge, and the solutions we create will have to be bold and innovative to match it. But, I think we’re up for it.
Today, the Missoula county board of commissioners is considering a plan to require new cryptocurrency businesses to generate renewable energy to offset the enormous amount of energy they consume. With the help of thoughtful strategies, just like this one, I’m confident that we can create the future our community wants.
Now, cryptocurrency businesses are drawn to Missoula, and I certainly don’t blame them for that. Who wouldn’t want to live here? And I, for one, think that we should welcome them into our community with open arms.
But, becoming part of our community is a give and take process. It requires more than just buying up real estate and trucking equipment in.
When you become a part of our community, you get to use all of our community resources. Our long winters will cool off your servers. Access to our amazing public lands, fun night life, and excellent public schools will help you recruit top notch employees.
And, in exchange for all of these benefits, we ask fairly little in return.
Cryptocurrency mining threatens to double Missoula’s energy demand in the upcoming years. And if that demand is met in the form of dirty power from fossil fuels, Missoula will never be able to create the clean energy future that we’ve committed to.
If cryptocurrency businesses truly want to be a part of our community, they should support this proposed regulation, embrace a shared vision for renewables, and work hand in hand with us to achieve our goals.
That’s what it means to be a community partner. And that’s what we should expect from everyone who wants to make a home here.
If you are interested in learning more and getting involved, please visit Missoula County’s crypto webpage.