Bitcoin Miners Oppose Energy Data Collection To Conceal Impacts

February 29, 2024

Bitcoin miners and industry groups oppose data collection to conceal energy usage and its impact on communities and the climate.

© Aaron M. Sprecher / Greenpeac

Washington, DC (February 29, 2024) – Last month, the Energy Information Administration (EIA), a statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), initiated an emergency survey of cryptocurrency, primarily Bitcoin mining companies’ electricity consumption in an attempt to bring more transparency to the rapidly growing industry. Last week, Bitcoin industry groups and Riot Platforms, a Bitcoin mining company, sued the EIA and DOE in an attempt to stop the data collection.  The U.S. district judge in Texas overseeing the case granted a temporary restraining order blocking the EIA from moving forward with the survey. 

In response to the industry’s lawsuit and restraining order, Erik Kojola, Greenpeace USA Senior Researcher, said: “Delaying the EIA’s access to vital data jeopardizes the reliability of electric supply for homes and businesses and hampers regulators’ ability to manage the large energy use of Bitcoin miners, potentially costing ratepayers millions and causing irreparable harm to communities and the climate. Particularly vulnerable is the Texas grid which hosts the most Bitcoin mining in the U.S. and faces the dual risk of grid instability and excessive costs to ratepayers. 

Urgent access to accurate information is imperative for utilities and regulators to gauge capacity and implement strategies to prevent blackouts and price surges during peak demand exacerbated by the accelerating demand from Bitcoin miners. If the Bitcoin mining industry truly operated with integrity, it would welcome transparency and basic reporting standards followed by other industries; however, their resistance suggests awareness of the harm they inflict on the energy system, consumers, and the climate.”

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