Citing the potential for serious conflicts of interests, Earthjustice today launched a sunshine investigation into billionaire investor Carl Icahn’s role in the Trump administration’s anti-climate action agenda, filing a FOIA request seeking all communication related to environmental matters between Icahn and the Trump administration. According to recent reporting, Icahn, who President Trump has named a “special advisor” on regulatory affairs, has already pressed for environmental regulatory changes that would benefit a Texas oil refiner, CVE Energy, in which he is the majority investor. In making the FOIA request, Earthjustice noted that this report and others raise grave questions about potential conflicts of interest held by Icahn and other persons playing key roles in environmental regulatory decisions impacting the lives of millions of Americans.
“As a special advisor to President Trump, Mr. Icahn has already lobbied for regulatory changes at the EPA that would benefit an oil refiner in which he is the majority investor,” said Abigail Dillen, Earthjustice Vice President of Litigation for Climate & Energy. “Given Mr. Icahn’s assertion that conflict of interest rules do not apply to him, the public deserves to understand the nature of his role and the role of other potential ‘advisors’ to the Administration in federal policy-making. This is especially important in light of the recent flurry of executive actions to weaken and roll back federal rules that dedicated civil servants spent years developing to protect our environment.”
Read the full FOIA request.