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EIA could attempt to survey crypto miners again before end of year

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EIA could attempt to survey crypto miners again before end of year

The US agency intends to consider feedback following an earlier controversy.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said it could restart its attempts to survey crypto mining companies this year during a July 10 webinar.

According to Bitcoin Magazine’s coverage, the agency’s attempts to reinitiate the survey could begin as soon as the current quarter.

However, per the report, the Federal Registrar does not include any outstanding or in-progress attempts to conduct a survey.

The EIA currently intends to gather public and industry feedback. The latest webinar sought input on types of information that future surveys could collect, the value of already collected data, and considerations in the design of future surveys.

The EIA lacks information in certain areas. The agency said it is challenging to distinguish mining operations from other general energy consumers and noted that mining companies can move to low-cost energy areas, further complicating monitoring.

Alternative approaches

The EIA’s previous attempt to collect data from miners was highly controversial, and industry attendees attempted to provide alternatives to the EIA’s earlier approach.

During the webinar, Texas Blockchain Council founder and president Lee Bratcher said surveys should include data centers in general and should not uniquely target crypto miners. Marathon Digital SVP of Government Affairs Jayson Browder echoed Bratcher’s concerns.

Bitcoin Policy Institute fellow Margot Paez noted that Lawrence Berkely National Laboratory is researching AI and data center energy consumption and suggested that the EIA partner with the lab. She said the lab, acting as a non-government agency, could collect data and anonymize it before providing it to the EIA.

Members of the Digital Energy Council and Blockchain Association also attended the webinar.

First survey attempt

The EIA announced plans to initiate a mandatory survey in late January after gaining emergency approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The Texas Blockchain Council and the mining firm Riot Platforms initiated a lawsuit against the EIA in February, arguing that the agency should have carried out a comment period before seeking approval from the OMB or needed to prove public harm to gain approval for the survey under emergency powers. Majority Whip Tom Emmer had previously raised similar concerns.

The EIA paused the survey in late February and agreed to end the lawsuit and destroy or sequester information a few weeks later in March.

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Posted In: Featured, Mining