January 23, 2017

350.org on committee vote for Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State

“This will only shine a harsher spotlight on the disturbing history of all that Exxon knew”

Washington, DC — Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 11-10 in favor of recent former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson’s nomination as the next US Secretary of State.

350.org Executive Director May Boeve issued the following response:

“This committee just knowingly handed our international climate diplomacy over to a rogue oil mogul. It’s impossible to separate Exxon’s climate cover-up from all that Rex Tillerson knew and lied about climate change. This will only shine a harsher spotlight on the disturbing history of all that Exxon knew. The brazen attacks on climate from Tillerson and Trump’s corrupt cabinet will be met with tremendous backfire and resistance at every turn. We will come together, relentless and stronger than ever, as we speak truth to power.”

This comes just two days after millions around the world mobilized in Women’s Marches, and the same day as thousands of students across the country walked-out of class against Trump’s corrupt cabinet, calling on administrators to resist and reject Trump’s climate denial cabinet by divesting from fossil fuels and reinvesting in solutions to the climate crisis.

At his January 11 hearing, Tillerson attempted to dance around his inseparable ties to Exxon’s climate cover-up. As he lied about his knowledge of all that Exxon knew about climate change, over 200 people rallied outside the hearing urging senators to “Reject Rex!” This came just two days after thousands of people in nearly all 50 states urging Senators to reject Trump’s climate denial cabinet in a #DayAgainstDenial.

That same evening, a Massachusetts court ruled that ExxonMobil must comply with the investigation of Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey. Healey, along with New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman are currently investigating ExxonMobil’s decades-long and ongoing campaign sow deception amongst the public and perpetuate a phony debate about the existence of climate change. Now, Exxon is required to turn over 40 years of internal documents.

In addition to ongoing state investigations, Tillerson is named as a top defendant in a federal lawsuit of 21 young plaintiffs against the U.S. government, arguing the government failed to protect their inherent rights by not taking action on climate change. In a recent development of the case, the federal government issued a response to the historic lawsuit,

The list of Tillerson’s human rights abuses and conflicts of interest appears virtually endless. During his reign as CEO of ExxonMobil, the company averted US sanctions on Iraq and Russia.

Tillerson also kept close ties to Saudi Arabia despite their extensive records of human rights abuses. Under Tillerson as its CEO, Exxon also lobbied the State Department for help in overcoming local fracking opposition in Germany and beyond.

Groups will continue to demonstrate creative and cunning tactics in holding Rex Tillerson accountable in anticipation of foreign policy prioritizing Big Oil at the expense of our climate and our communities.


Contact: Lindsay Meiman, [email protected], +1 (347) 460-9082

For more on all that #ExxonKnew, visit: exxonknew.org