Rex Tillerson

Rex Tillerson Nominated for Secretary of State: Climate Activists' Heads May Explode

'The top U.S. diplomat responsible for everything from negotiating international climate agreements to resurrecting the Keystone XL Pipeline'



My inbox filled today with urgent missives from environmental activists outraged by Donald Trump's nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be the next Secretary of State. While some national security state supporters are worried about just how cozy Tillerson might be with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, the activists are much more concerned about what Tillerson's nomination says about the Trump administration's future climate change policy. A few tidbits below:

Appointing Rex Tillerson to be our chief diplomat is an affront to global progress and will place the US economy, our security, and our standing in the world in the same failing predicament Exxon is in right now. The global community continues to send a strong, collective message that it is ditching fossil fuels for clean energy. Rex Tillerson hid climate science so it could cash in on disaster, instead of transitioning his company to a position of true leadership… He has led his company and his industry to double down on an energy source that is literally poisoning the world and making it harder for humans to survive on it.—Greenpeace Executive Director Annie Leonard.

Rex Tillerson and his company are disproportionately responsible for unconscionable backsliding and delay on climate action. A lifelong employee of Exxon, Tillerson has overseen the company's aggressive attack on state Attorneys General who are investigating Exxon's deception regarding climate science. His company is a main sponsor of the false debate that climate change-denying EPA appointee Scott Pruitt and others are using to slow crucial progress.—Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen

Under Tillerson's leadership, Exxon committed what could be the biggest case of corporate fraud in history by denying climate change. He's shown that he will lie to the public to protect Exxon's profits… Meanwhile, here in the U.S., Tillerson has fought for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. As Secretary of State, he'd have the power to carry out Trump's threat to build the pipeline that President Obama rejected. If Trump gets his way, Tillerson will be the top U.S. diplomat responsible for everything from negotiating international climate agreements to resurrecting the Keystone XL Pipeline.—Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica

If confirmed, Tillerson would wield incredible power to unleash oil production around the globe: he could resurrect the Keystone XL pipeline; he could push to ease sanctions on Russia, which would benefit Exxon's oil development there; and he could pull us out of climate deals like the Paris accords (emphasis his). The stakes to stop Trump's cabinet of fossil fools couldn't be higher. And we desperately need your support to fund our Senate campaign to stop Tillerson, Pruitt and the rest of Trump's Big Oil cabinet picks.—Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune

Whatever else Tillerson might end up doing as Secretary of State, he is right now a fund-raising bonanza for environmental activist groups.