(Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration is set to deal a blow to billionaire investor and presidential adviser Carl Icahn by rejecting his bid to relieve refiners of a burden to satisfy U.S. biofuel mandates, according to people briefed on the move.
The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to formally deny requests by Valero Energy Corp., Icahn’s CVR Energy Inc. and other oil companies to shift the compliance burden away from refiners and move it to fuel blenders and other entities instead. The people asked not to be identified discussing the policy action before it was announced, possibly before the end of this week.
The EPA proposed rejecting the change last November under former President Barack Obama. But analysts had raised the prospect of a reversal amid pressure from Icahn, who serves as unpaid special regulatory adviser to President Donald Trump.
Icahn has complained that the current program structure is "rigged," because it forces some refiners to buy compliance credits known as "renewable identification numbers," or RINs.
Current law obligates refiners and importers to meet annual quotas for using biodiesel and traditional renewable fuel such as ethanol. Refiners are affected unevenly by the mandates; those that do not have infrastructure to blend in the biofuels themselves must buy those RINs to comply.
Icahn, a majority owner of refiner CVR Energy, wasn’t immediately available for comment, a spokeswoman said.
CVR Energy fell 2.9 percent to $19.035 a share at 12:33 p.m. in New York. Valero Energy Corp., the largest independent U.S. oil refiner, slipped 0.2 percent to $68.40.
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