Icahn subpoenaed by US over biofuel policy while he served as Trump adviser

Miles Weiss and Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Bloomberg News on

Published in Business News

WASHINGTON -- Federal investigators have issued subpoenas for information on Carl Icahn's efforts to change biofuel policy while serving as an informal 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.

"We are cooperating with the request and are providing information in response to the subpoena," Icahn Enterprises said in the filing. "The U.S. Attorney's office has not made any claims or allegations against us or Mr. Icahn."

Messages left with the Department of Justice and representatives of Icahn were not immediately returned.

The price of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), the credits used to show compliance with the biofuel mandate, have been volatile in the past year. The RIN tracking ethanol consumption, for example, tumbled some 35 percent in one day after it was reported that Icahn struck a deal for changes with segments of the ethanol industry. That deal never resulted in policy changes.

Icahn, the majority owner of independent oil refiner CVR Energy Inc., has drawn criticism for pushing a change in U.S. biofuel policy that would benefit the company. Specifically, he wanted the Environmental Protection Agency to change who must comply with annual biofuel quotas, shifting the burden away from fuel refiners.

The U.S. Attorney also sent subpoenas to CVR Energy for information on its activities, as well as those of CVR Refining and Icahn, according to a separate filing by that company.

Icahn's role drew 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.

The value of Icahn's stake in the Texas refiner increased by $491 million between Nov. 8 and Aug. 2, to about $1.4 billion, a period running from Trump's election to the day before reports surfaced that the Trump administration was set to reject the bid to relieve refiners of their burden to satisfy annual biofuel quotas.

(With assistance from Mario Parker.)

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