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Senators continue search for Icahn documents

08 Jun 2017 22:36 (+01:00 GMT)
Senators continue search for Icahn documents

Houston, 8 June (Argus) — US senators this week pressed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for communications between the regulator and presidential adviser Carl Icahn, the latest development in months of questions about the investor's role shaping policy that affects his businesses.

Five Democratic senators requested the EPA provide them all communications between regulatory officials in the agency and Icahn or individuals working on the behalf of Icahn or CVR Energy, a US independent refiner of which the New York investor owns at least 80pc.

EPA administers the Renewable Fuel Standard RFS, which sets minimum volumes of renewable fuels refiners, importers and other companies must each year insure enter the US transportation fuel supply.

Icahn serves as a special presidential adviser not employed by the government, an arrangement the administration has argued allows the veteran investor to maintain his portfolio while offering insight on regulation. Icahn in December called the RFS a prime example government regulation that should be changed or eliminated.

Biofuel groups in February said he was pushing for an executive order to shift responsibility to the program away from independent refiners such as CVR Energy that lack fuel blending businesses, something also sought by Valero and PBF Energy, among other refiners.

Icahn could not be reached for comment. There has been no executive order on the program.

Questions to the EPA followed a response from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) notifying eight Democratic senators that the commission had no relevant information on Icahn's trading of biofuel credits refiners and fuel importers need to meet federal blending mandates because futures activity in the markers "is non-existent."

EPA regulates physical trade of renewable identification numbers (RINs) collected to comply with the mandates. The CFTC would advise EPA on fraud or market abuses under the terms of an agreement signed March 2016, but does not possess information on physical trades.

The commission offered the first known response in months of Icahn-related inquiries by Democratic senators to the EPA, CFTC, Securities and Exchange Commission and the White House.