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Mining Under Siege: The EIA's Veiled Vendetta Against Bitcoin with Brian Morgenstern

Feb 22, 2024

Mining Under Siege: The EIA's Veiled Vendetta Against Bitcoin with Brian Morgenstern

Mining Under Siege: The EIA's Veiled Vendetta Against Bitcoin with Brian Morgenstern

Key Takeaways

The Stephan Livera podcast episode featuring Brian Morgenstern paints a vivid picture of the current tension between bitcoin mining and regulatory scrutiny under the guise of an "emergency" by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Brian, head of public policy at Riot Platforms, brings his extensive experience in government and law to dissect the issue.

A key insight from the discussion is that bitcoin policy doesn't fall neatly along party lines. While current Republican leadership might appear more bitcoin-friendly and Democrats seem less so, the reality is more nuanced and generational. Support and skepticism for bitcoin exist across the political spectrum, often influenced by views on financial inclusion and energy consumption.

The EIA has issued an "emergency" survey to bitcoin mining companies, requesting detailed information about their operations. Brian argues that the justifications provided (e.g., grid stability, energy prices, CO2 emissions) are flimsy and that the real motive is to potentially limit or eliminate bitcoin mining in the U.S., inspired by the agenda of figures like Senator Elizabeth Warren. The survey's invasive nature could expose companies to targeted attacks from activists and set a dangerous precedent for government overreach.

Riot Platforms and others are pushing back against the EIA's actions, encouraging companies to consult legal counsel before responding to the survey, and considering joining potential legal actions to challenge the request. Transparency is important, but not when it compromises competitive advantage and privacy.

Best Quotes

  1. "You could see in all the available data that when the weather got colder, the miners were curtailing... We were one of the first arrows in the quiver for ensuring that the grid was stable." – Brian Morgenstern on the fallacy of the EIA's grid stability concern.
  2. "They want to collect copies of their electric bills and they're looking to publish as much information as they can. And this is pretty invasive. And in my opinion, it's really singling out the industry in a way that hasn't been done before, and it's dangerous." – Brian on the EIA's overreach.
  3. "They say they are doing this because they're concerned about stability during times of peak demand... But when you look at each one, you find out it's a house of cards and it just crumbles." – Brian challenging the EIA's purported reasons for the survey.
  4. "This survey is not just a survey. This is not a game of checkers. It's a game of chess. They're trying to hand you the rope that they want to use to hang you later." – Brian on the ulterior motives behind the EIA's request.
  5. "We don't have enough generation yet. We need more power to serve the economy of the future... We can't start going down the path of telling certain people, you're not allowed to use electricity." – Brian on the broader implications for energy policy and freedom.


The podcast episode delves into a complex and pressing issue for the bitcoin mining industry—the EIA's controversial survey and its potential ramifications. Brian Morgenstern's insights and anecdotes reveal a broader struggle for autonomy and fairness in the face of political and ideological pressures. The conversation sheds light on the need for vigilance and collective action against policies that could stifle innovation and control in the emerging digital asset space. The overarching message is clear: the bitcoin community must stand united and vocal to protect its interests and the inherent values of decentralization and privacy.


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