A federal judge in Washington has rejected cryptocurrency miners’ claims that Grant County’s new electricity rates for emerging industries violated their rights and federal law. In the ruling, Eastern District of Washington District Court Judge Rosanna Peterson determined that the plaintiff miners failed to show that Grant County violated any provisions of the Federal Power Act.
The miners’ suit was prompted by the Grant County utility’s decision to implement a new fee structure that prioritized what it called “traditional customers” over new, emerging industries like cryptocurrency mining. That change in policy was a response to increased energy demands from mining operations that first began settling in the country in 2017 to take advantage of the area’s low energy rates.
The Federal Power Act was passed to prevent utilities from charging unreasonable or discriminatory electricity rates. Judge Peterson ruled that Grant County’s decision to charge different rates based on usage expectations was not a violation of that law. She also appeared to be unmoved by the miners’ claim that the county’s decision would establish precedent that might be relied upon by other utilities in the future.