Ic­ahn says reg­u­la­tion sti­fles US re­finer­ies

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Carl Ic­ahn, a newly named ad­viser to Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump, said yes­ter­day that bur­den­some US reg­u­la­tions were hin­der­ing free en­ter­prise, and oil re­fin­ing in par­tic­u­lar. In an in­ter­view with CNBC, Ic­ahn, the famed Wall Street ac­tivist in­vestor, also sug­gested he would help push the new Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to­wards broad-based dereg­u­la­tion, as he is widely ex­pected to do.

Trump said Wed­nes­day that he had named Ic­ahn, 80, as his spe­cial ad­vi­sor to over­haul “stran­gling reg­u­la­tions.” Ic­ahn has sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments in the en­ergy sec­tor, in­clud­ing the Texas oil re­finer CVR En­ergy, which suf­fered heav­ily in re­cent years as en­ergy prices de­clined but could stand to gain from an anti-reg­u­la­tion agenda.

In the in­ter­view aired Thurs­day, Ic­ahn said that, un­der Pres­i­dent Barack Obama the United States was “on a fast track to so­cial­ism” and busi­nesses suf­fered un­der an “ab­surd reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment.”

“I’m not against reg­u­la­tions at all. I sort of be­lieve that you need a rule of law,” Ic­ahn said. “But it’s be­come lit­er­ally ab­surd in many ar­eas.”“There good com­pa­nies, good CEOS, as there are good reg­u­la­tors,” he added. “There are some that are com­pletely ab­surd .... Frankly, you al­most get en­raged by some of the stuff.”

He pointed to rules un­der the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency gov­ern­ing oil re­finer­ies, assert­ing that gaso­line prices were tied to pro­duc­tion lim­its at re­finer­ies on the eastern coast of the United States.

Trump has nom­i­nated Ok­la­homa At­tor­ney Gen­eral Scott Pruitt, a close ally of the fos­sil fuel in­dus­try and cli­mate change de­nier, to lead the EPA.

“You have to have healthy re­finer­ies,” Ic­ahn said Thurs­day. “There are re­finer­ies on the brink of bank­ruptcy to­day.” In a state­ment on Thurs­day, the or­ga­ni­za­tion Friends of the Earth said Ic­ahn’s new role in the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion showed that the pres­i­dent-elect was build­ing a “klep­toc­racy” that would steal from the public and give to the well-con­nected. “Once again Don­ald Trump has cho­sen a bil­lion­aire who will make him­self rich at the ex­pense of the Amer­i­can peo­ple,” Ben Schreiber, the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s cli­mate di­rec­tor, said in a state­ment. “Carl Ic­ahn’s vast fos­sil fuel hold­ings should dis­qual­ify him from any role in re­view­ing reg­u­la­tions de­signed to pro­tect public health and the en­vi­ron­ment.” — AFP

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