Carl Icahn’s role as an adviser to President Trump was a conflict of interest related to rules requiring oil refiners to blend ethanol into gasoline, according to an article in The New Yorker. The article came out just days after Icahn stepped down from his unpaid advisory role.
Icahn said he resigned from the post due to partisan bickering about his role, denying having profited from the position. The New Yorker article, however, pointed out that changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard – which Icahn was pushing for – could affect his holdings.
One of Icahn’s investment firms, Icahn Enterprises, owns a large stake in petroleum refining company CVR Energy. The stock for CVR doubled in the months after the election —”a surge that is difficult to explain without acknowledging the appointment of the company’s lead shareholder to a White House position,” the New Yorker wrote.
In an article titled “This Could Be Why Carl Icahn Quit as a Trump Adviser,” Fortune magazine points out that Icahn’s resignation comes after a number of other business leaders and CEOs resigned from various White House councils after the events in Charlottesville, VA, more than a week ago.
For example, Merck Chief Executive Ken Frazier resigned from the President’s American Manufacturing Council, followed by several more members.
“As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism,” Ken Frazier said in a statement.
Companies including Tesla, HP, Unilever, 3M, Campbells and Intel also resigned from the council.