U.S. Subpoenas Icahn Over Biofuel Action While Trump Adviser
by Miles Weiss, Jennifer A Dlouhy, and Mario Parker (Bloomberg) U.S. Attorney for Southern District of N.Y. seeks information; Icahn Enterprises discloses request in securities filing — Federal investigators have issued subpoenas for information on Carl Icahn’s efforts to change biofuel policy while he served as an adviser to President Donald Trump, according to regulatory filings.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is “seeking production of information” pertaining to Icahn’s activities regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard, according to a Form 10-Q that Icahn Enterprises LP filed on Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The investigators also want information on Icahn’s role as an adviser to the president, the document says.
When Trump named Icahn as an unpaid “special adviser” on Dec. 21, he tasked the billionaire with helping to shape his regulatory agenda. By August, Icahn had left the role, after drawing criticism from senators and watchdog groups for pushing a change to the renewable fuel program that would benefit CVR Energy Inc., the independent oil refiner in which he owns a majority share.
Specifically, Icahn wanted the Environmental Protection Agency to alter the way it administers the Renewable Fuel Standard, a program that requires refiners to use biofuel.
Amid climbing RIN prices and compliance costs last year, Icahn began pushing the EPA to relieve refiners of their obligation to fulfill the mandate, potentially shifting it to fuel blenders instead. Once Icahn was named an adviser, prices for the renewable fuel credits began a two-month decline, eventually losing almost half their value by the end of March.
During that first quarter of 2017, CVR boasted about saving $60 million buying RINs. It was a departure for the company, which reported losing money buying RINs for every quarter since the beginning of 2012, according to regulatory filings.
In March, Icahn told Bloomberg he was betting against the credits by delaying purchases in the expectation their value would fall.
Icahn’s role as an adviser to Trump has drawn scrutiny on Capitol Hill, as Democratic lawmakers argued his appointment ran afoul of ethics standards and presented a conflict of interest because Icahn hadn’t made any obvious effort to separate his business holdings from his broad mandate to address regulations. Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois asked the FBI to open a criminal investigation of Icahn in August. READ MORE includes VIDEO
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