back to article Draft climate law threatens fines for datacenters that don't cut their carbon count

A law bill introduced in the Oregon state assembly has carbon dioxide emissions from crypto farming operations and datacenters in its sights. House Bill 2816 [PDF] would require any person who owns or operates a datacenter or cryptocurrency mining operation to cut greenhouse gas emissions from electricity use by 60 percent …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Close 'em.

    AWS should close their us-west-2 region and relocate it somewhere sane.

    1. Dimmer Silver badge

      Re: Close 'em.

      So, move them to Texas where you can’t hardly use natural cooling thereby using more juice. Way to go guys.

      Its like making products so expensive to produce competitively companies produce it in China where we have no hope in controlling emissions.

      How about moving to a geo-thermal area and roll your own. Nevada is not that far away. Until the next big quake, problem solved.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Close 'em.

        Move them up near Timberline Lodge. Lovely area, plenty cold a lot of the year too.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Close 'em.

      pretty much what I was thinking.

      When the wacky-enviro-alarmists start legislating you out of business over their pseudo-science fanaticism of doom and gloom (based entirely on fear and ignorance, leading to a kind of economic suicide), it is time to view these places ONLY through the rear view mirrors of escaping vehicles, while you still have enough cash on hand to do it.

      I hear Texas, Florida, and other 'red states' SERIOUSLY want businesses to prosper in THEIR states! You know, jobs, prosperity, thriving and healthy economy, and so on.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Close 'em.

        Texas is unlikely to still be a red state 10 years from now, just like the rust belt states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania are likely to be red states by then. Demographic shifts occur over time, companies need to take that into account if they are relocating thinking one party is more "business friendly" than another.

        With the nutjobs in charge of the republican party now thanks to the spineless speaker of the house who gave them everything in his grab for power, who knows whether being in a red state would be a good thing for them. Just look at Disney, they piss off the governor and he passes a law targeted specifically at them. Why should other companies believe that relocating to Florida is a good thing so long as a vindictive little man motivated by personal grievances is in charge?

        There are some very large datacenters that have net zero CO2 so it is quite doable, and that's more likely going to be what the big companies do. Apple and Google already lead the way, they are unlikely to be concerned with this Oregon law.

        But sure, go ahead, root for companies to move to red state havens where they can burn fossil fuels with abandon, dump toxic waste into rivers and all the other terrible outcomes would result from your wet dream of a zero regulation libertarian paradise. Oh wait, you don't want toxic waste dumped in rivers? Sorry, a regulation that prevents that harms business so it must be allowed!

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Close 'em.

          why did you bring up dumping toxic waste? That has been illegal in the USA for a very long time.. And there are sensible reasons to keep it that way. CO2 is good for plants, so I'm perfectly happy to give them even more.

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: Close 'em.

            CO2 is bad for animals though. At 1000 ppm mental performance in humans falls by over 10%. So even if you decide to pretend climate change isn't a thing, continuing to burn fossil fuels will eventually make everyone stupider. Which appears has already happened to some.

  2. katrinab Silver badge
    Unhappy

    The most obvious flaw

    with this bill is that it doesn’t appear to incentivise them to reduce the number of megawatts they consume, which is surely the best way to reduce emissions.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: The most obvious flaw

      Quite. A MWh is a MWh wherever it is sourced from. While it's possible that this incentivizes datacenters to generate their own clean energy on site, it's unlikely that current sites would have been chosen with that in mind and the large majority of clean energy will come from external sources, which in turn cannot supply that clean energy to other consumers, who have to consume 'dirty' energy themselves.

      Targeting one set of energy consumers (datacenters) while not targeting others eg industry will just shift numbers in a spreadsheet. Much more effective to remove subsidies from carbon energy sources, making it cheaper for energy producers to produce energy from renewables than from fossil fuels.

  3. Potemkine! Silver badge

    the bill specifies 0.428 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per megawatt-hour of electricity consumed

    428kg / MWh, It's a huge number. To compare in France it's around 53 kg / MWh.

    Even if reduced by 60%, that's still more than the triple. I guess Oregon's electricity comes from coal and oil?

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      For a mix resulting in 400+, coal is almost certainly there. An average CCGT is about 330 kg/MWh or so; so considering the lack of nuclear availability, lowering below that level "at least some of the time" is decidedly difficult to do.

      Very few HFO stations are still standing. Those things are that dirty (not just CO2) most emissions regs globally have forced that fuel type only onto ships where the regs for international waters are a lot more lax. HFO of course is what's left of the the dregs after producing petrol and diesel - quite what you would do with it if you couldn't burn it and had to stack it up in perpetuity is a mystery.

  4. DBAosaurus

    Progressive taxation

    It's in the communal good to penalise crypto datamining, and the tax evasion, criminal assets, fraud, hidden assets and socially useless speculation that goes with it. In short I see no legitimate reason to hold cryptocurrency.

    As for the AWS and other datacenters, they may be more legally and socially acceptable but consumer capitalism and targeted marketing on that scale lead our species and planet down a very dark path.

  5. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Just calm down....

    A personal friend of mine was just sworn in last week as a new state rep in the Oregon House of Representatives. The first thing he had to do was sit in session and listen to the OVER 1000 new bills which have been introduced. The vast majority of which will never make it out of committee.

    Nearly every one of those bills introduced is so the elected official can go back to their constituents and say "I introduced legislation to <appease my base>. You should re-elect me."

    And, Oregon's house has changed. It is no longer subjected to the "Super Majority" and "Super Minority" that allowed one side to push their entire agenda through unopposed.

  6. wiggers

    Just impose a Carbon Tax already!

    Instead of micromanaging every industry, just impose a Carbon Tax and let people find their own solutions.

    Unless, of course CO2 isn't the actual problem and they just want to interfere in everything...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Governor...

    Oregon finally flushed Brown out of office with term limits. Kotek has arrived to keep bleeding the state dry.

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