A U.S. senator from Arkansas is requesting clarifications from the governor regarding growing concerns over unsolicited cryptocurrency mining operations in the state’s smaller communities.
In Mountain Pine, locals have expressed discontent over the disruptive noise originating from a newly-established crypto-mining center in Garland County, as reported by the local news agency, Katv.
“It’s incredibly noisy. You mainly hear the high-pitched fans,” remarked Gary Muston, who resides opposite the mining site. Some community members have noted that this noise can be detected from a distance of up to four or five miles.
Consequently, Arkansas Senator Bryan King is actively pursuing answers in response to the residents’ grievances. King has reached out to the governor’s office, specifically seeking records on local crypto mines from Legislative Director Jamie Barker.
A recent update from Katv highlighted that earlier this year, legislation was enacted that encourages cryptocurrency mining businesses in the state. This law, known as Act 851, largely restricts local governments from exerting control over these crypto-mining entities.
Act 851 stipulates that as long as crypto mining operations adhere to state business regulations, taxation guidelines, operational safety ordinances, and state employment laws, they can function within Arkansas.
King Requested Repeal of Act 851
Last month, during a special session in September, King made an effort to overturn the law, pointing to the concerns raised by residents. However, his proposal was not approved.
King pointed out that his request was denied by the governor’s office, which cited an exemption under the Arkansas’ Freedom of Information Act law. Furthermore, King expressed frustration that Jamie Barker did not include him in a meeting with fellow county representatives, during which crypto mining issues in the state were discussed.
“He’s the one who recently held a meeting with county officials, to which I wasn’t invited. I believe he should be the person addressing these questions,” King commented.
During the September special session, the topic of the state’s crypto-mining challenges was not addressed, leading King to voice his criticism towards the governor.
“We need explanations as to why there are barriers in place preventing this from being repealed and allowing cities and counties the autonomy to make their own decisions,” King stated.
In response to his concerns, the governor’s communication director, Alexa Henning, issued a statement emphasizing the office’s commitment to the well-being of Arkansans.
“Our primary concern is the safety and security of the people of Arkansas,” Henning said. “This commitment is reflected in the numerous bills the governor signed into law during her inaugural legislative session, specifically aimed at safeguarding the state from harmful external influences.”