Want to Drain the Swamp? Start with the Renewable Fuel Standard
by David Williams (The Gilmer Mirror) Incoming President Donald Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” is getting an early test from one of his closest friends.
Billionaire investor and Trump confidant Carl Icahn is requesting changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard, the federal law requiring gasoline manufacturers to incorporate renewable fuels into their blends. Coincidently, Icahn would reap massive financial rewards from the “fix.”
Today, companies along the supply chain — like marketers and gas-station chains, which don’t produce the gasoline blends — are exempted. But under Icahn’s proposal, such companies are required to purchase a set amount of credits annually.
Icahn claims the market for these credits is broken, rife with “manipulation, speculation, and fraud.”
He’s correct that the price of these credits has spiked. The average cost of a credit has jumped from one penny in 2012 to nearly a dollar today. Icahn’s proposal expands the definition of “obligated party” to include virtually every firm along the supply route, moving the obligation to include local fuel distributors.
All Icahn really wants is a handout. He’s an investor in CVR Refining, a mid-size refinery that is an obligated party. The company must spend hundreds of millions of dollars on credits, and its stock has plummeted 60 percent over the last three years. Removing CVR from the obligated party definition would slash expenses and net Icahn a massive windfall while those that invested to comply with the law are left in a less competitive position and the smaller companies are burdened with having to comply with the RFS. READ MORE and MORE (MySanAntonio.com) and MORE (Battle Creek Enquirer)