April 19, 2024
Texas Blockchain Council Sues Over Crypto Mining
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Texas Blockchain Council Sues Over Crypto Mining

The Texas Blockchain Council (TBC) and mining firm Riot Platforms initiate legal action against the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) attempt to collect information on energy usage from crypto miners. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas on February 22, alleges that the U.S. Department of Energy, EIA, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and their leadership are pursuing an “invasive” data collection from cryptocurrency miners.

The legal challenge arises from an EIA survey on the electricity usage of mining companies, with a deadline of February 23 and the looming threat of fines and penalties for non-compliance. The TBC contends that the data collection is politically motivated, denouncing it as an overreach in authority. The group specifically calls out Senator Elizabeth Warren and the White House, asserting that they orchestrated the EIA action. The TBC seeks a temporary restraining order from the court to halt the data collection.

Texas Blockchain Council President Lee Bratcher emphasized that the lawsuit is not just about resisting a single request for proprietary information but is a defense against a broader pattern of regulatory overreach that could impact innovation and economic growth across various industries.

The Department of Energy categorized the mandatory data collection from crypto miners as an “emergency” request, aiming to establish a “baseline snapshot” of the energy consumption of miners nationwide. Critics of the Energy Department’s actions question the urgency of the data collection, suggesting that policymakers might exploit the information for politically motivated attacks on Bitcoin and the crypto industry.

Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer, a supporter of pro-crypto legislation in the U.S. Congress, raised concerns about the motivation behind the EIA survey. In a letter to OMB director Shalanda Young on February 20, Emmer suggested that the Biden administration might be using the survey to advance climate change policies at the expense of crypto miners.

The TBC reports a hearing scheduled for February 23 in Texas to address the lawsuit ahead of the EIA deadline. Despite reaching out to Senator Warren’s office for comment, Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer’s inquiry into the EIA survey underscores the growing concerns among lawmakers regarding potential policy impacts on crypto miners in the context of broader climate change initiatives.

Image by Reto Scheiwiller from Pixabay

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