The Environmental Protection Agency has granted an undisclosed waiver to CVR, a refinery owned by Carl Icahn (Eye’-kahn), allowing the company to bypass its biofuel obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The move, which is one of several, has angered the ethanol industry. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor points out the political ties between the Trump Administration and Icahn, as “Icahn interviewed Scott Pruitt for the job.” EPA administrator Pruitt told reporters last week that the EPA is following statute regarding RFS waivers. But, the move to grant a waiver to CVR means “Icahn stands to make millions more from an EPA handout,” according to Growth Energy. Icahn has been under the microscope since the beginnings of the Trump administration. While serving as an unpaid advisor to President Donald Trump, Icahn submitted a proposal to change the point of blending under the RFS away from refiners and further down the supply chain.
In a statement, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley said, ““President Trump committed to a 15 billion gallon annual volume obligation for ethanol under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Administrator Pruitt is breaking that commitment. By handing out ‘hardship’ waivers to highly profitable, big oil refining companies, Administrator Pruitt is undermining the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard. He’s also breaking his own promise he made to me and several other senators to support the spirit of the law. Hundreds of millions – and in some cases billions – of dollars in profits isn’t my definition of ‘hardship.’ President Trump promised to support home-grown biofuels, and Administrator Pruitt is breaking that promise.”