As the debate over bitcoin mining heats up at the Capitol, citizens impacted by the mines are speaking up about their frustrations. I suspect we’ll see a long list of locals signing up to testify if any of the potential crypto bills gets to committee.

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Act 851, passed last year with little debate just eight days after it was filed, takes away the right of local cities and counties to regulate the mines, and residents say they’re paying the price. Among other complaints, they say that the mines wastefully soak up too much electricity and water, and create noise pollution that degrades quality of life and harms wildlife. And local communities get no benefit at all, they argue.

The Committee to Protect Arkansas, a citizens group based in Arkansas County, posted the video above on its Facebook page earlier this month. The group formed after a bitcoin mine nearly the size of a football field opened up shop last year just outside of DeWitt, one of several such sites taking advantage of the protections  grabbed by Act 851.

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Give it a watch. Legislators hoping to dodge the issue with a phony fig-leaf bill would be wise to hear what they have to say.

It’s a strong message, and suggests the way bitcoin mines might become politically toxic despite some heavy lobbying muscle. Rural residents and farmers with a sympathetic message are sounding the alarm bells, with an emphasis on local control that was once associated with conservatives.

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“It’s going to take away from water and crops and they’re wanting to use it to cool computers,” one citizen says in the video.

Another: “It’s terrible how they just invaded us and we can’t do anything about it.”

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A professional goose and duck hunting guide: “It’s going to effect a lot things in this small town.”

A local realtor says it’s hurting property values: “Who’s going to want to live within earshot of this crypto mine?”

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“They didn’t pick rural America because it’s so appealing,” comments Jackie Johnson, co-owner of Lauren’s Garden in DeWitt, toward the end of the video, as she calls for a full repeal of Act 851. “They picked it because they think we can’t fight back.”