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Texas Blockchain Council says it has a ‘strong legal case’ in mining survey suit

source-logo  blockworks.co  + 1 more 26 February 2024 22:44, UTC

The Texas Blockchain Council and Riot Platforms, alongside the New Civil Liberties Alliance, filed a suit last week against the Department of Energy.

The NCLA, TBC, and Riot were granted a 14-day temporary restraining order late Friday, blocking the DOE and the Energy Information Administration from requiring bitcoin mining companies to hand over information as part of an emergency survey the EIA announced earlier this year.

Lee Bratcher, president of the Texas Blockchain Council, told Blockworks that the TBC remains “confident that we have a sound legal case.”

“We’re concerned that a benign agency like the Energy Information Administration would be politicized in this way, it doesn’t bode well for other industries that potentially could fall out of favor with the administration and power,” he added.

The complaint, filed last week, said that miners would be “irreparably harmed” by the survey, which demanded “confidential, sensitive and proprietary information.”

“We will specifically focus on how the energy demand for cryptocurrency mining is evolving, identify geographic areas of high growth, and quantify the sources of electricity used to meet cryptocurrency mining demand,” Joe DeCarolis, administrator for the EIA, said in a statement last month.

The request, which was filed as an emergency order earlier this month, came after the cold snap that impacted parts of the US.

“Given the emerging and rapidly changing nature of this issue and because EIA cannot quantitatively assess the likelihood of public harm, EIA felt a sense of urgency to generate credible data that would provide insight into this unfolding issue,” an EIA spokesperson told Blockworks back in early February.

The NCLA, in a press release Friday, said that the EIA “appears to be responding to political pressure rather than a genuine ‘emergency’ implicating public harm.”

In the order granting the TRO, the court wrote that it believed that the plaintiffs are “likely” to show that the justification for the emergency order request fell “short.”

Before the order, the EIA — on its website and on X — clarified that it wouldn’t be enforcing the survey until March 22.

Bratcher told Blockworks that TBC is “in this [fight] for our members and the industry and have no inclination to back away from what we think is a very correct cause.”


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