Democratic Senators call for probe into Icahn's biofuel credit dealings

Icahn gives an interview on FOX Business Network in New York

Icahn gives an interview on FOX Business Network in New York

Eight Democratic senators led by Elizabeth Warren of MA yesterday called for a federal investigation into whether investor Carl Icahn had violated insider trading laws and had indulged in market manipulation in his role as a special adviser to president Trump.

RIN prices dropped sharply after Icahn's proposal on the biofuels regulation was reported, the senators pointed out in their letter.

A group of eight Democratic lawmakers including Sen. President Trump, reportedly acting on advice from Icahn, selected Scott Pruitt, a vocal critic of the renewable fuel program, as his choice for EPA Administrator.

In addition to Elizabeth Warren, the letter was signed by Debbie Stabenow, of Michigan; Sherrod Brown, of Ohio; Sheldon Whitehouse, of Rhode Island; Thomas Carper, of Delaware; Tammy Duckworth, of Illinois; Tammy Baldwin, of Wisconsin; and Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota. An administration official did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

The collapse in biofuel credit prices allowed CVR to post a net gain of $6.4 million last quarter, a $50 million reversal from a year ago - according to Reuters.

"We have no way of knowing at this time whether Mr. Icahn made any of his renewable fuel credit trades or decisions about trades based on material, non-public information or otherwise manipulated the market", the senators wrote.

"But the publicly available evidence is troubling, and based on this evidence, we ask that your agencies investigate whether Mr. Icahn's conduct violated any laws under your jurisdiction", they said.

Icahn has previously denied accusations that his proposals for policy changes were created to benefit his company.

According to the senators, Icahn used his position as an adviser to Trump to influence policy that would benefit CVR. Senators stressed in the letter that CVR timed its trading of these credits to perfection, arguing that this was made possible because Icahn, whose firm holds an 82 percent stake in the company, was privy to information about policy changes before the rest of the market.

Under EPA regulations, Texas headquartered CVR, which specializes in petroleum refining and nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing activities, must either blend its oil with renewable fuels, such as ethanol, or buy biofuel credits.

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