Lipinski said he could not understand "how the Trump administration capitulated to the senators from Iowa."
He noted that the top two corn producing red states, Iowa and Nebraska, have just 11 electoral votes. Meanwhile, two of the most disadvantaged refiners under the program are headquartered in Pennsylvania, he said. Lipinski did not specify which companies he meant, but refiners like Philadelphia Energy Solutions and Delta Air Lines subsidiary Monroe Energy are based in Pennsylvania.
"If anybody in the White House can do math, Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes," he said.
Under the Renewable Fuel Standard, refiners who blend biofuels like ethanol into gasoline generate credits called Renewable Identification Numbers, known as RINs. Smaller refiners like CVR that do not blend ethanol must buy those RINs in order to meet their obligation under the program.
Icahn had lobbied for the EPA to shift the obligation to buy credits away from refiners and onto fuel blenders. Analysts told CNBC that CVR Refining appeared to be putting off buying RINs on the view that prices would fall as policy changed. Icahn himself suggested the company was not buying RINs.
Icahn's position as the dominant investor in CVR Energy and his unofficial role as an advisor to Trump on regulations drew conflict of interest allegations. Icahn, who argued he was acting in the interest of American energy security, stepped down from the advisory role in August.
Lipinski said on Wednesday that CVR has been buying RINs and reports to the contrary are inaccurate.