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Public Citizen Files Complaint Alleging Trump Adviser’s Activities May Have Violated Federal Lobbying Laws

March 8, 2017

Public Citizen Files Complaint Alleging Trump Adviser’s Activities May Have Violated Federal Lobbying Laws

Carl Icahn and His Businesses Haven’t Registered As Lobbyists Yet Continue to Influence Government Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Icahn Enterprises, CVR Energy and their related affiliates appear to be in violation of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (LDA), according to a complaint (PDF) Public Citizen filed today with Congress. The complaint says there is no record of either entities’ past or current compliance with the LDA.

Carl Icahn serves as chairman of the board of Icahn Enterprises and CVR Energy, Inc. He controls 90 percent of Icahn Enterprises’ depositary shares, and Icahn Enterprises in turn owns 82 percent of CVR. Icahn Enterprises is a holding company engaged in an array of industries, including energy, investment, automotive, railcars, gaming, metals, mining, food packaging, real estate and home fashion.

On Dec. 21, President-elect Donald Trump named Icahn special adviser to the president on regulatory reform. Media reports have detailed Icahn’s advocacy within the Trump administration to make changes to the existing Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Media reports also suggest that Trump may issue an executive order making significant changes to the credit structure of the RFS, which is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The changes would shift responsibility for blending ethanol and biodiesel from companies like Icahn’s CVR Energy oil refiners to wholesale gasoline distributors. CVR’s compliance cost with the current RFS cost the company more than $200 million in purchasing needed credits last year alone.

“Icahn’s dual role as an owner of an oil refining business and Trump’s special adviser on regulations not only presents a significant conflict of interest, but Icahn’s failure to register himself and his affected businesses as lobbyists makes a mockery of our nation’s good governance laws,” said Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program. “He vetted the eventual EPA nominee, advised the president-elect on regulatory policy and is pushing the president to change policy so that his company can save hundreds of millions of dollars.”

The complaint concludes, “All of this has occurred with no record of any LDA filings by or on behalf of Mr. Icahn, Icahn Enterprises or CVR Energy. It is unlikely that all these activities occurred without some individual or entity being obligated to report lobbying activity under the LDA.”

Read the complaint (PDF).