Reuters published an exclusive report today citing two anonymous sources who claim EPA granted a small refinery hardship exemption to CVR Energy, owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, the power behind last year’s attempt to dilute the Renewable Fuel Standard by changing the point of obligation.
CVR Energy just released its 1st quarter earnings last Thursday, posting a net income of $66 million, compared to $22 million in the first quarter of 2017. CVR CEO Dave Lamp credited the increase to “a reduction to CVR Refining’s estimated Renewable Volume Obligation and lower Renewable Identification Number prices.”
Audio file – CVR Energy CEO Dave Lamp, 2018 Q1 report
The company’s Coffeyville, Kansas refinery has a capacity of 132,000 barrels per calendar day (bpcd) and the Wynnewood, Oklahoma has a 74,500 bpcd capacity – just under the 75,000 barrel cut off for a “small refinery” under the EPA’s definition.
During a House Energy subcommittee hearing last week, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt was asked directly by Maryland Democrat Rep. John Sarbanes if Carl Icahn’s CVR Energy had applied for a waiver. Pruitt replied that he was “not sure” and did not directly answer whether the company might have received one, saying “These exemptions are governed by statute…” before being interrupted by Sarbanes saying, “You’re going to find that out for us..because it raises serious questions about conflicts of interest.”
Listen to that exchange here: Rep. Sarbanes questions EPA Admin. Pruitt