- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Billionaire investor and former presidential adviser Carl Icahn has been subpoenaed over his attempts to influence federal ethanol policy, including his call for changes to biofuels programs that would’ve benefited his businesses.

In a quarterly filing, Icahn Enterprises revealed that federal prosecutors are seeking information about Mr. Icahn’s efforts to shape tweaks to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the law that requires the blending of ethanol with gasoline. Mr. Icahn and his associates own a majority stake in CVR Energy, an energy company that would’ve saved a substantial amount of money if the rules of the program were relaxed.

“The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York recently contacted Icahn Enterprises L.P. seeking production of information pertaining to our and Mr. Icahn’s activities relating to the Renewable Fuels Standard and Mr. Icahn’s role as an advisor to the president,” Icahn Enterprises said in its report. “We are cooperating with the request and are providing information in response to the subpoena. The U.S. Attorney’s office has not made any claims or allegations against us or Mr. Icahn. We maintain a strong compliance program and, while no assurances can be made, we do not believe this inquiry will have a material impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.”

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Congressional Democrats have called for an FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into Mr. Icahn’s role in advising President Trump.

Specifically, Mr. Icahn had pushed the administration to lessen the requirements on energy companies. CVR Energy, like other companies that lack the ability to blend ethanol into gasoline themselves, are required by law to instead purchase biofuels credits known as RINs.

Those purchases can cost companies tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Weakening the requirements would’ve saved Mr. Icahn millions of dollars.

Mr. Icahn resigned over the summer. Since then, administration officials have indicated they won’t make the changes to the RFS that he sought.

Ethics groups say the entire affair is deserving of greater attention.

Carl Icahn’s role in the administration — lobbying from the inside on behalf of regulatory changes that would save him hundreds of millions of dollars — is the epitome of the Washington swamp that candidate Trump pretended to campaign against last year,” said Austin Evers, executive director of the watchdog group American Oversight. “It’s critical that prosecutors get to the bottom of Icahn’s involvement in the administration and uncover why, and how, he was given so much access despite the obvious ethical concerns.”

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