ExxonMobil

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson Tapped for Secretary of State Despite Close Ties to Russia, Putin

Tillerson and Putin

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson — who has close personal and company ties to Russia and President Vladimir Putin — is President-elect Donald Trump's top pick to become the next secretary of state, with the decision likely coming next week according to NBC News.

The news comes amid reports that Congressional members and senior U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials say they have intelligence showing Russia attempted to tip the balance of the November U.S. presidential election in favor of President-elect Donald Trump by hacking into email systems and giving those emails to Wikileaks. And President Barack Obama has called for a complete investigation on the matter before he leaves the White House on January 20.

Though the evidence presented to the U.S. public so far lacks smoking gun documentation, many are alarmed that a geopolitical adversary may have interfered with the U.S. electoral process. Trump, though — who has signaled a potential sea change in the U.S.-Russia geopolitical relationship — is not among them, as indicated in his choice of Tillerson for top U.S. diplomat.

Donald Trump's Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers

One of President-elect Donald Trump's most pressing current tasks is selecting who will serve in his new administration, especially his transition team and cabinet, though there are over 4,000 political appointees to hire for federal jobs in all.

Much of the mainstream media attention so far has centered around Trump's choices of Republican National Committee head Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff and former Breitbart News CEO Steve Bannon as chief strategist and senior counselor. Congressional Democrats have called for Bannon to be banned from the White House, citing his personal bigotry and the bigotry often on display on Breitbart.com. Meanwhile, Bannon's hire was praised by the American Nazi Party and KKK.

Yet, perhaps just as troubling is the army of climate change deniers and fossil fuel industry lobbyists helping to pick or court a spot on Trump's future climate and energy team.

How Much Are Fossil Fuel Interests Spending to Sway Your Vote for Congress?

Circle of dollar bills.

Are your Congressional representatives up for reelection this year? How much money have they taken from fossil fuel interests this election cycle? And what about their opponents — are they any better, or are they taking dirty energy money too?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you might want to head on over to NoFossilFuelMoney.org, a new online tool created by ClimateTruth Action to track contributions from the fossil fuel sector — which includes oil and gas companies, electric utilities, coal mining companies, and related businesses — to both congressional incumbents and challengers.

C. Boyden Gray

C. Boyden Gray

Credentials

  • A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard and J.D. with high honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. [1]

Background

Exxon Says It Takes Climate Change Risks ‘Seriously’. Is It For Real?

Exxon wintertime

News outlets have heralded ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson’s claim that the company backs “serious action” on climate change as a significant shift in its stance on the issue.

The comments, made at the Oil and Money conference last week, would seem to align Exxon with European competitors such as BP and Shell, which have taken a stronger stance supporting climate action.

But Exxon’s actions speak louder than Tillerson’s words.

Republican Attorneys General Met Secretly with Exxon Lobbyists to Stop Climate Change Investigations

Protestor holding a sign stating Exxon denied climate science despite knowing otherwise.

According to a new report by the watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), ExxonMobil sent teams of lobbyists to meet with industry-friendly Republican state attorneys general to help stave off a flurry of investigations about the company’s role in obscuring the link between carbon dioxide and climate change, a cover-up which extends as far back as the 1970’s.

The news comes the same week that the environmental advocacy group Conservation Law Foundation filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil for placing Massachusetts communities into harm's way, as a result of this cover-up and its climate change implications.

Trump Economic Adviser "Pushing" for Climate Denier and Fossil Fuel Apologist to Head EPA

Kathleen Hartnett White

Stephen Moore — economic adviser for Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign — recently told Politico's Morning Energy that he is “pushing” to have a climate change denier and fossil fuel promoter, Kathleen Hartnett White, named as head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if Trump is elected president in November.

Federal SEC Launches Investigation Into ExxonMobil's Climate Change Accounting

Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters.

The federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating how oil giant ExxonMobil calculates the value of its assets in a world looking to force stricter rules on fossil fuel emissions, according to multiple reports.

According to the Wall St. Journal, which broke the story, the SEC asked ExxonMobil and its auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, for documents last month.

The SEC probe is examining how the oil company’s financials allow for international efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and how the company “evaluates the economic viability of its projects” under climate change laws, the WSJ reported.

Louisiana's Drowning: Follow our Photographer's Journey Capturing Hope and Loss in Historic Flood

The largest flooding event in Louisiana’s history — and the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since Hurricane Sandy in 2012 — is not over.

As I write, new areas in the southern part of the state are taking on water from rising creeks and bayous. 

Last Friday, the greater Baton Rouge area received more than 30 inches of rain in less than 48 hours. Many rivers crested at record-breaking heights, and the run-off from those rivers is now flooding areas further to the south. 

On Monday, three days after the rain event began, I flew with the Louisiana National Guard in a Black Hawk helicopter to survey the flood damage. From the air, I was able to take in the vast reach of the disaster.

Senators' Strong #WebOfDenial Speeches Collected and Annotated

Senators Launch Resolution, Speech Blitz Calling Out #WebOfDenial Blocking Climate Action summarized the comments by 19 US Senators July 11-12.  The text of their remarks was extracted from the Congressional Records, annotated and combined into the attached 42-page PDF.  That is easily searchable, and may help guide selection of videos to watch.

They offered strong words, including Senator Elizabeth Warren's analysis of Viscount Christopher Monckton.

Pink shading is used to emphasis denierfunders, groups and indviduals, many found in the DeSmog Research Database or other analyses at DeSmog, which was mentioned 8 times by the Senators.

The two tables below give page numbers of Senators' remarks, showing first the funders they mentioned, and then the denial groups.  Many Senators mentioned the Kochs, ExxonMobil, tobacco, and Donors Trust.

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