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US Energy Dept. Seeks Industry Inputs to Survey Crypto Mining Energy Usage

Sujha Sundararajan
Last updated: | 1 min read
Crypto mining energy use

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is once again attempting to survey crypto mining firms, after the first attempt was slapped by a lawsuit.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistics arm of the DOE, on Wednesday, held a public webinar in the context. The meeting sought comments from the public, including crypto miners and industry players.

The conversation, led by Steve Harvey of the EIA, aimed to use the feedback to shape the survey ahead of the rule-making proposal, which will be published in the Federal Registry.

The department, in February, forced an emergency collection of data request from crypto mining companies. The EIA noted Bitcoin’s 50% price increase over the last few months as reason for the emergency justification.

However, Texas Blockchain Council and bitcoin mining company Riot Platforms sued the DOE in March, over its “targeted misuse of government emergency authority.” Consequently, both the lawsuit parties came to an agreement, forcing the EIA to destroy information received from the mining firms.

Key Challenges in Tracking Crypto Mining Energy Usage

Harvey proposed three key ideas during the discussion, to be addressed before framing a new survey, the Block reported. “We want to focus on your ideas,” he told the webinar attendees.

Firstly, the EIA wants to address what important factors do industry players consider regarding energy use on PoW crypto mining. Secondly, the agency wants to know what data should it focus on to collect from miners. Finally, the EIA is looking if there are any existing information already available to replace the survey and cut costs.

During the first survey, the EIA was aware of the “key challenges” in tracking crypto mining energy use, Harvey said. This includes difficulty of actually identifying market participants and the “dynamic nature” of the mining industry.

The survey, once designed, would require approval from the DOE.