Texas Blockchain Council and Riot Platforms sue energy officials over crypto mining data

The Texas Blockchain Council (TBC) and mining firm Riot Platforms filed a lawsuit over the Energy Information Administration’s attempt to gather information on energy usage from crypto miners.

In a Feb. 22 filing in United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, the TBC and Riot alleged the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration (EIA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and their leadership sought an “invasive” data collection from cryptocurrency miners. The lawsuit was filed ahead of a Feb. 23 deadline under the threat of fines and penalties to respond to an EIA survey on the electricity usage of mining companies.

The TBC claimed the collection was politically motivated, arguing that requiring mining firms to provide the U.S. government with potentially contractual information and making it public would represent an overreach in authority. The group called out Senator Elizabeth Warren and the White House for orchestrating the EIA action and requested the court approve a temporary restraining order stopping the data collection.

“This legal challenge is not about resisting an isolated request for proprietary information,” said Texas Blockchain Council President Lee Bratcher. “It’s a defense against a broader pattern of regulatory overreach that threatens the very fabric of innovation and economic growth. If the government can do this to one industry, precedent is set for all other industries that fall out of favor with the administration in power.”

The Department of Energy labeled the mandatory collection of data from crypto miners as an “emergency” request as part of efforts to create a “baseline snapshot” of the energy consumption of miners nationwide. Opponents of the Energy Department’s action have questioned the urgency of the data collection, claiming that policymakers could use the information for politically motivated attacks on Bitcoin (BTC) and the crypto industry.

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Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer, a proponent of many pro-crypto pieces of legislation in the U.S. Congress, sent a letter to OMB director Shalanda Young on Feb. 20 questioning the motivation behind the EIA survey. The lawmaker suggested that the Biden administration was attempting to enact policies related to fighting climate change at the expense of crypto miners.

According to the TBC, there will be a hearing at 5:30 pm UTC on Feb. 23 in Texas to address the lawsuit ahead of the EIA deadline. Cointelegraph reached out to Senator Warren’s office for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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