New York, December 13 (RHC)-- U.S. president-elect Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he has nominated ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to arguably the most important position in his cabinet: Secretary of State. While Tillerson has no experience in public office, his nomination has drawn the ire of environmentalists for his company’s actions on climate change while even members of Trump's own party are uneasy with the pick due to the CEO's ties to Russia.
Trump tweeted on Tuesday that Tillerson is “one of the truly great business leaders of the world.” However, the 64-year-old Texan has never held public office and has been a lifelong employee of the oil giant, one of the biggest companies in the world. While Trump's team claimed that ExxonMobil is “one of the largest and most respected companies,” it has a rap sheet of destructive practices and of trying to subvert action and research on climate change.
ExxonMobil is under investigation by the New York Attorney General's Office for allegedly misleading investors, regulators, and the public on what it knew about global warming — an investigation Tillerson called a “distraction.”
While Exxon scientists warned the company about climate change as early as 1982, it funded several groups that ran climate denial campaigns and joined a coalition of fossil fuel companies to make the uncertainties of climate science “conventional wisdom.”
“Rex Tillerson and his company are disproportionately responsible for unconscionable backsliding and delay on climate action," Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen said Tuesday. "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.
Environmentalists already alarmed by the prospect of a “climate purge” by the incoming Trump administration of civil servants who worked on environmental policies under the Obama administration, something that was reported last week by Bloomberg News, have been equally wary of the head of an oil company as Secretary of State and what appears to be a blurring of the political and corporate world, within Trump cabinet.
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