Texas Blockchain Council, Riot are Victors in a Case Against US Energy Officials

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In a significant legal win, the Texas Blockchain Council (TBC) and Riot Platforms, a Bitcoin mining firm, secured a favorable ruling from a United States District Judge in their lawsuit against several U.S. energy officials. 

The lawsuit alleged that the United States Department of Energy, the Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sought intrusive data collection from cryptocurrency miners.

As reported earlier by TheCoinRise, Riot Platforms declared a substantial rise in its Bitcoin output for 2023, revealing a 19% surge compared to the prior year.

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Texas Issues Temporary Restraining Order

In a development on February 23, the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the EIA, preventing them from compelling crypto miners to respond to the survey and halting the sharing of any data already collected. 

Judge Sides with Texas Blockchain Council and Riot

The judge was convinced by the TBC and Riot that immediate and irreparable harm would occur without this order.

The court sided with the plaintiffs, stating, “The Court finds that Plaintiffs have shown through a verified complaint and supporting evidence that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result if a TRO is not issued.”

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The lawsuit highlighted potential damages, including non-recoverable compliance costs, the threat of prosecution for non-compliance, and the disclosure of proprietary information requested by the survey.

‘Extremely Inaccurate’

One major point of contention was the duration of the survey, with the EIA estimating a completion time of around 30 minutes. The court dismissed this estimate as “extremely inaccurate,” noting that the TBC and Riot Platforms, which recently added 33,000 miners, argued their compliance cost had already exceeded 40 hours.

Crucially, the court found that TBC and Riot are likely to succeed in the lawsuit. It alleged that the EIA misused its authority to have the emergency survey approved, a move the court deemed “falls far short of justifying such an action.”

The court emphasized, “Plaintiffs also demonstrate that they are likely to succeed on the merits. The survey was proposed and approved under an emergency provision of the PRA.”

TRO to Lapse Before March 25

The TRO is set to lapse before March 25, serving as a temporary measure to “preserve the status quo” for a 4-week period. 

Texas recently witnessed the formation of a lobbying group while teaming up with the largest crypto exchange in the United States, Coinbase.

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