Congressman Emmer raises concerns over Biden administration’s “information collection regime” targeting BTC miners

Congressman Emmer raises concerns over Biden administration’s “information collection regime” targeting BTC miners

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer warned on Feb. 22 that government agencies under the Biden administration are beginning to collect data on Bitcoin mining firms.

In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Emmer acknowledged that the OMB approved and expedited a request from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) that imposes a “new, mandatory information collection regime” on the Bitcoin mining industry.

The fact that the OMB approved the information collection request without a comment period means that the agency must prove that there is likely public harm, Emmer noted.

Emmer denied that any such harm exists. In an X statement, he wrote:


“Bitcoin mining is not a threat to public safety. Period. The [Office of Management and Budget’s] abuse of its emergency powers to attack Bitcoin miners demands an explanation.”

He further defended Bitcoin in the text of his letter, writing that Bitcoin mining firms “play an integral role in the Bitcoin network.” He added that the open and permissionless nature of Bitcoin’s technology “embodies American values” and urged for a politically neutral policy.

Emmer linked the information collection policy to US President Joe Biden’s leadership, arguing that the OMB and EIA are “enforcing the Biden administration’s regressive policy position against energy consumption” and applying it discriminately to the crypto industry.

The Biden administration more broadly introduced energy policies in its Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022.

Consumption concerns unwarranted

According to Emmer, the EIA is concerned about the possibility that Bitcoin mining will increase amid rising prices, which could lead to greater energy consumption. The office is also concerned about high energy consumption during a “major cold snap.”

However, the Congressman believes this is not a legitimate concern because mining activity can adjusted during peak hours and changing weather conditions.

Emmer added that the EIA aims to collect a large variety of data from 82 crypto-mining firms. He suggested that the survey’s broadness is an attempt to impose Scope 3 climate policies — a category that includes energy data beyond a company’s own operations.

Emmer compared the current survey efforts to the US SEC’s poorly received attempts to collect similar information.

In a separate interview with FOX Business, Emmer highlighted that companies that do not comply with the request face criminal and civil penalties, including daily fines of up to $10,000. Firms must provide information on a monthly basis until the end of the survey period in July.

A public statement from the EIA on Jan. 31 indicates that it began a survey of various crypto-mining companies in early February following the OMB’s emergency approval.

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