Icahn Subpoenaed Over Biofuel Policy, RINS Tumble

This just might spoil what has so far been a strong year for Carl Icahn. Bloomberg is reporting that the FBI has issued subpoenas for information on Carl Icahn’s possible lobbying to change biofuel policy while serving as an informal adviser to President Donald Trump, according to regulatory filings.

Icahn, who briefly served as an adviser to the president and who was once suspected of being a possible pick for Treasury,  announced in August that he was no longer serving as an adviser to the president regarding regulatory reform. In his curiously worded letter, he specified that he “never had a formal position” in the White House.

The 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."

Neither Icahn nor the DOJ commented for Bloomberg. The news immediately hit shares of Icahn Enterprises.

The price of Renewable Identification Numbers, or RINs, the credits used to show compliance with the biofuel mandate have been volatile in the past year, Bloomberg says. The RIN tracking ethanol consumption, for example, tumbled some 35% 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 been criticized for pushing for regulatory reforms that would benefit his business interests. Specifically, he wanted the Environmental Protection Agency to change who must comply with annual biofuel quotas, shifting the burden away from fuel refiners.

The US 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 was a controversial one from the start, one reason he was passed over for Treasury Secretary - because he said he’d be unwilling to part with his business interests. Some criticized him for his adviser role, accusing him of self-dealing.

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.

Since the headlines hit the price of RINs have tumbled 4.5%...


techpriest any_mouse Wed, 11/08/2017 - 15:49 Permalink

Indeed. I saw a presentation on them a while back. For the unaware, RINs are the beta version of carbon credits. Oil companies are required to buy a certain amount of biofuel, and these are supplied by registered companies. The transaction is a RIN (do correct me if the terminology is wrong - this is my understanding of how it works). This was supposed to create a "market" for biorenewable fuels.

In reality, or enlightened regulators [sic] chose to only regulate one side of the deal, and you had incidents where shysters would pass used fry oil through a sock filter and call it biofuel to collect the RIN money. Total waste, and did nothing but make fuel more expensive while doing nothing for anyone.

If Icahn is caught up in this, you have to wonder who else was profiting from the phony trade.

In reply to by any_mouse

83_vf_1100_c Wed, 11/08/2017 - 15:37 Permalink

  I rebuild Keihin motorcycle carbs as part of my biz. Ethanol fuels have been very good for my biz. Ethanol fuels suck ass as anyone who owns small engine lawn and garden stuff knows. With older carbed bikes you get the double whammy of gummed up idle circuits and nitrile rubber seals destroyed. I always upgrade the seals to Viton rubber. I suppose a lot of classic cars have the same troubles.

SillyWabbits Wed, 11/08/2017 - 16:29 Permalink

Carl is a great captalist.Capitalism only works with highly ethical and moral discipline.Otherwise you have greed and abuse.So Carl is aware of the pitfalls of Capitalism and acts accordinnglyNothing to worry about here.

SmittyinLA Wed, 11/08/2017 - 22:18 Permalink

Biofuels kill engines, the alcohol eats aluminum needed to meet cafe standards, it also dissolves plastic and rubber gaskets and seals, worse Biofuel gasoline will rot and go bad quickly so you have to drain all your fuel on equipment and recreational vehicles and cars that you don't use weekly.

Basically Biofuels is the corn & sugar beet lobby reaching into your wallet and tolling your gasoline expenses, the policy also impacts food policy and costs including meat prices (it drives feed prices up).

Burning food for fuel is stupid, we literally have mountains of fuel.