Nine cryptocurrency firms filed a complaint in the Eastern District Court of Washington in opposition to a new electricity rate increase in Grant Count, in the state of Washington, which applies to "evolving industries" such as cryptocurrency companies. In Blocktree Properties, LLC et al v. Public Utility District #2 of Grant County Washington et al., the plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief and damages resulting from the "Rate Schedule 17" price hike, implemented in response to cryptocurrency firms flooding a region which featuring notably low electricity prices.
The Utility (PUD) allegedly contends that, as cryptocurrency is unregulated and mining activities consume a substantial and disproportionate amount of energy in comparison to other regional customers, it needed to protect the rates paid by other customers. The impacted firms allege that such action is illegal, discriminatory and unconstitutional as it targets entities such as plaintiffs - specifically those engaged in cryptocurrency operations - and requires them and other Rate Schedule 17 customers to pay substantially higher rates, with increases planned through 2021. The complaint also alleges that PUD specified that the source of the problem were not the plaintiffs but the large influx of subsequent investors hoping to capitalize on the large spaces and low electricity rates.
The Public Utility District is expected to file a response to the complaint imminently.