Industry Statement on EIA’s Emergency Survey
The following statement can be attributed to Lee Bratcher, Board Member and President at the Texas Blockchain Council, and Perianne Boring, Founder and CEO of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, in response to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announcing an unprecedented Information Collection Request from identified cryptocurrency mining companies operating in the United States:
“The EIA’s mandatory emergency survey of electricity consumption data represents the latest in a politically motivated campaign against Bitcoin mining, cryptocurrency, and U.S.-led innovation. We believe this should cause concern for all industries that rely on data centers as part of their operations.
Instead of focusing on improving our aging electricity infrastructure and working to ensure grid stability, the Department of Energy and EIA have prioritized taking unprecedented steps to target private businesses for political purposes. This action is an abuse of authority in order to further the Biden administration’s public goal “to limit or eliminate” U.S. Bitcoin miners, while pleading ignorance to U.S. miner’s utilization of renewable resources and uniquely flexible operations.
Thanks to Bitcoin miners’ ability to rapidly adjust their data centers’ power usage according to grid conditions, their operations are the most flexible and responsive electrical loads in the nation. It is well known that they offer critical grid stabilizing benefits to the communities in which they operate. These capabilities were on full display during recent periods of cold weather in Texas, which the EIA boldly cites in its justification for this misguided measure. If the stated justification for this emergency action – concern with data centers potentially overloading the grid – is to be trusted, other industries, such as financial institutions and social media companies, should now also be on notice of this troubling new tactic.
Bitcoin miners comprise one of the most transparent industries in the world. (See, e.g., EIA Website, Hashrate Index, Cambridge University, Texas A&M, ERCOT Data). Moreover, each data center’s development entails exhaustive investment, administrative, procurement, and construction processes before they can begin operations. These facts belie the purported justification for this ‘emergency’ mandate.
This is an attack against a legitimate American businesses with the administration feigning an emergency to score political points. The White House has been clear that they desire to ‘to limit or eliminate’ Bitcoin miners from operating in the United States. Although Bitcoin is resilient and cannot be banned, the administration is seeking to make the lives of Bitcoin miners, their employees, and their communities too difficult to bear operating in the United States. This is deeply concerning.
We strongly believe EIA has overstepped its authority in issuing this emergency mandate. We urge the Biden administration to reconsider this course of action. Until that time, we will be pursuing all legal recourses available to us.”