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Biden Administration Suspends Notorious Bitcoin Mining Investigation Over Strong Legal Objections

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has agreed to destroy data collected to date as part of an agreement to end a lawsuit filed by several industry participants, including Riot Platforms and the Texas Blockchain Council.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has agreed to halt an urgent investigation into bitcoin miners as part of a deal to end a lawsuit filed by several industry participants, including the Texas Blockchain Council.

According to the March 1 court filing, the EIA must destroy any information it has received about the investigation, as well as information it has yet to receive. It must also quarantine or keep the data confidential until it is destroyed.

The controversial survey was designed to collect data on how much energy miners use. However, the industry has responded with a lawsuit, arguing that the investigation will lead to “irreparable operational” losses by forcing miners to disclose “confidential information”.

Terms of the agreementBitcoin Miner

As part of the agreement, EIA will publish a new notice in the Federal Register that will restart the investigation process from the beginning, rescinding and replacing the Feb. 9 notice that did not solicit comments and feedback.

The new notice must allow for a 60-day comment and feedback period, after which EIA may conduct an investigation under specific statutory and regulatory provisions.

In addition, EIA must consider comments submitted on the new notice and the February 9 notice the same as those submitted to the new notice.

EIA and the other defendants will also pay the plaintiffs (Riot Platforms and the Texas Blockchain Council) $2,199.45 to cover legal fees and litigation.

Contested Investigations

EIA began collecting data from mining companies in late January after the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) authorized the investigation as an emergency request. The controversial investigation is closely tied to the policies of the Biden administration, specifically its energy policy outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.Whatsminer Miner

This this organization is concerned that bitcoin mining could accelerate as prices rise, leading to increased energy consumption during periods of high demand and cold weather.

Republican Congressman Tom Emmer voiced his opposition to the investigation, which he expressed on February 22nd. In addition to denying that Bitcoin mining poses a threat, Emmer noted that the EIA justified the investigation based on emergency policy, but failed to introduce the required comment period.

Industry participants, including Riot Platforms, the Chamber of Digital Commerce and the Texas Blockchain Council, filed a lawsuit against the investigation, which resulted in the court granting a temporary stay until March 24th.

The EIA suspended attempts to collect the data on February 24 following the legal action.



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