Billionaire Carl Icahn Reaps $60 Million as Trump Adviser
by Mario Parker (Bloomberg/Southwest Farm Press) Government work has paid off handsomely for billionaire Carl Icahn. CVR Energy Inc., his oil refining company, saved about $60 million in the first quarter because of expectations that the federal government will ease a regulation involving renewable fuels, securities filings show.
It’s much more than a lucky break. As a “special regulatory adviser” to President Donald Trump, Icahn himself has been advocating the kind of relief that will benefit his company.
Icahn’s cost savings show how the Trump administration has let officials’ outside business interests influence policy decisions. Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota Law School professor and White House ethics counsel under President George W. Bush, calls Icahn’s role “a clear conflict of interest.”
Even before the magnitude of Icahn’s gain was known, a group of U S. Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to regulators urging them to investigate whether Icahn used his role as adviser to gain unfair trading advantages.
Other market forces may also be at work. Refiners have been blending record amounts of ethanol into gasoline this year, so there’s speculation that there will be more than enough to meet demand, according to Mark Broadbent, a senior research analyst who covers refiners at Wood Mackenzie in Houston.
The cost savings from the credits make up only part of Icahn’s recent winnings from CVR. In the six months since Trump’s Nov. 8 election win, the value of Icahn’s stake in the Texas refiner has increased by more than $600 million, to $1.6 billion. READ MORE and MORE (Washington Times) and MORE (The Inquirer/Philly.com)