A refinery owned by billionaire Carl Icahn — a close confidant of Donald Trump — received a government waiver to avoid spending millions to comply with government regulations, Reuters reported. Icahn was a special adviser to the president before stepping down last year amid questions over ethics breaches related to his activity in the White House.
The Environmental Protection Agency gave a financial hardship waiver to the Oklahoma facility. The refinery is now exempt from regulations that require refineries to mix a certain amount of biofuel — usually made from corn or soybeans — into their oil. The move has angered the powerful corn and soybean lobbies.
“This one’s going to be hard for [EPA Administrator Scott] Pruitt to explain,” Brooke Coleman, head of the Advanced Biofuels Business Council industry group, said in an email.
Icahn recently wrote a letter to the Washington Post in which he claimed he has had no contact with Trump or any other high-level government administrators “in months.” The only other government official referenced by name in the letter is Pruitt. The letter was in response to a Washington Post article that quoted a source as saying Trump regularly speaks to Icahn.