Texas Blockchain Council including Riot file lawsuit against US Energy Department over Bitcoin miner survey

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Riot Platforms and the non-profit association, the Texas Blockchain Council (TBC), have initiated legal action against the US Energy Department and associated entities, such as the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), concerning their recent move to survey Bitcoin miners.

The Feb. 22 court filing showed that the miners want to halt what they deem an “unlawful emergency data collection,” arguing that:

“This is a case about sloppy government process, contrived and self-inflicted urgency, and invasive government data collection.”

Lee Bratcher, president of the TBC, said:

“It’s evident that this survey is not about grid stability, as bitcoin miners are the most flexible load on any grid, but is a targeted political effort led by figures like Elizabeth Warren.

On Jan. 31, the EIA announced intentions to gather information on the energy consumption of US-based crypto miners. The EIA justified this survey, sanctioned by the OMB, as an emergency data collection measure, claiming that US miners accounted for approximately 2.3% of the nation’s total electricity demand in 2023.

The miners are questioning the legitimacy of this data collection process, labeling it as a haphazard and intrusive government procedure.

They alleged violations of the Paperwork Reduction Act in the application and approval processes and accused the agencies of acting “arbitrarily and capriciously” by breaching the Administrative Procedure Act.

The miners argued that the survey would harm them by forcing them to divulge confidential, sensitive, and proprietary information to EIA. As such, they want the court to restrain these agencies from collecting this information and destroy any information that might have been collected from miners.

In addition to the crypto miners’ opposition, several US lawmakers have voiced concerns over the Energy Department’s actions. Rep. Tom Emmer, House Majority Whip, has called for an explanation regarding the OMB’s utilization of emergency powers to target Bitcoin miners, emphasizing that Bitcoin mining poses no threat to public safety.

 

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