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The U.S. Department of Energy and Energy Information Administration Agree to Discontinue Survey and Destroy All Collected Information


Austin, TX/Washington, DC March 1, 2024 – The Texas Blockchain Council (TBC), alongside its Co-Plaintiff, Riot Platforms, Inc., applauded the DOE and EIA’s decision to consent to a court order requiring them to end the  mandatory emergency survey of Bitcoin miners and destroy all survey information collected.   

“The administration engaged in a targeted misuse of government emergency authority to attack a legitimate industry for political purposes,” said Lee Bratcher, the TBC President. “The government demanding—and promising to publish—sensitive business information, in the face of criminal penalties, is a threat to free enterprise everywhere. We are glad to now have an enforceable order that prevents them from doing so.” 

On Jan. 31, the EIA, the statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, announced plans to mandate the collection of information from U.S. Bitcoin miners through an “emergency” process. This required Bitcoin miners to respond on short notice with details related to their energy use, specifications of each machine they use, specific locations of facilities, commercial energy contracts and suppliers, among other proprietary and sensitive information demands.

At the EIA’s request, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) authorized emergency status for this survey, allowing the EIA to bypass the legally required public notice and comment period. Neither the EIA nor the OMB cited an impending emergency in their filings, and the EIA acknowledged in its emergency authorization request that it “cannot quantitatively assess the likelihood of public harm.” This resulted in a rushed process and fatally flawed and unduly burdensome survey. In halting the survey, U.S. District Judge Alan Albright described the EIA’s estimation of its burden as “extremely accurate, if not grossly misleading.” If EIA elects to conduct another survey, it may only be done through the proper notice and comment process. As part of that process, EIA will be required to consider feedback from industry participants.

Contrary to common misperceptions, Bitcoin mining drives renewable energy use, enables innovative practices that help stabilize the power grid and consumes less power than many other industries, including traditional finance, fashion, gaming, and Christmas lights. Bitcoin mining data centers routinely adjust their power consumption to prevent undue stress on electrical grids and disruptions for consumers in times of need. This ERCOT graph demonstrates bitcoin mining’s symbiotic relationship with the grid.

About the Texas Blockchain Council: 

The Texas Blockchain Council is a nonprofit industry association working to make the State of Texas the jurisdiction of choice for Bitcoin, blockchain and digital asset innovation. 

[CD1]The agreement will include an ongoing duty to destroy any data that may trickle in—so not just previously collected data

See Also:

Texas Blockchain Council Announces Legal Action Against the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration Overreach | Disruption Banking

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