Credo Action

Tell the Senate: Block climate-denying, friend-of-Putin Rex Tillerson for secretary of state

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The petition to the Senate reads:

Rex Tillerson is a climate-denying billionaire with deep ties to the Russian government. Tell the Senate to block his confirmation as secretary of state.

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    Tell the Senate: Block climate-denying, friend-of-Putin Rex Tillerson for secretary of state

    Over 148,000 CREDO activists have already signed petitions to block climate-denying billionaire Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. Now the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a vote on his confirmation on Monday, and we cannot afford to let up the pressure.

    Tell the Senate: Block Tillerson as secretary of state.

    In Tillerson’s confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 11, the ex-CEO of oil-and-gas-giant Exxon Mobil gave an unacceptable series of non-answers on issues ranging from man-made climate change to whether Russia’s Vladimir Putin is a war criminal. He may have even perjured himself by lying about Exxon Mobil’s documented history of lobbying against Russian sanctions.1

    Tillerson recently left his position at Exxon Mobil with a $180 million retirement package, just two months ahead of his scheduled retirement.2 We don’t need another climate-denying corporate executive in Washington – especially as the nation’s top diplomat.

    Tell the Senate: Block Tillerson as secretary of state.

    Tillerson has led Exxon Mobil in public lie after public lie about the reality of climate change.3 Not only has he personally been outspoken about his false belief that scientists largely disagree about climate change and its connection to human action, he has used his position and influence as CEO of the oil and gas company to promote lies and propaganda denying the role burning fossil fuels plays in heating our planet. The company is currently under investigation by several state Attorneys General for lying and misleading investors and the public about the risks of climate change.4 Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil continues to fund climate denial groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council, despite commitments from Tillerson to stop funding climate deniers.5

    Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike have expressed concern about Tillerson’s deep ties to Russia and his personal relationship with Vladimir Putin. In 2013, after the two negotiated an oil drilling deal reportedly worth $500 billion, Putin gave Tillerson one of the highest honors Russia gives to foreigners: the Order of Friendship. The Order of Friendship can be bestowed on someone who makes a "great contribution" to "large-scale economic projects" in Russia.6 Tillerson built his career and success at Exxon on close relationships and business deals to drill oil in Russia – and he has refused to release his tax returns that would show his true financial ties to Russia.

    With mounting evidence that Russia interfered in the presidential election, now is not the time to install someone with deep financial ties to Vladimir Putin as the nation’s top diplomat. It’s time for the Senate to take a stand and commit to blocking his confirmation.

    Tell the Senate: Block Tillerson as secretary of state.

    Thank you for everything you do.

    References:

    1. Clare Malone, “What We Learned (And Didn’t) About Rex Tillerson At His Confirmation Hearing, FiveThirtyEight, Jan. 12, 2017.
    2. Michele Kelemen, “Rex Tillerson Cuts Ties With Exxon Mobil In Advance Of Confirmation Hearings,” NPR, Jan. 4, 2017.
    3. McKenzie Funk, “Did Exxon Lie About Global Warming?” Rolling Stone, June 30, 2016.
    4. Justin Gillis and Clifford Krauss, “Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General,” The New York Times, Nov. 5, 2015.
    5. Lee Wasserman, “What Rex Tillerson's Exxon Mobil track record tells us,” Los Angeles Times, Jan. 3, 2017.
    6. Matt Egan, Julia Horowitz and Chris Isidore, “Behind the deep ties between Exxon's Rex Tillerson and Russia,” CNN Money, Dec. 11, 2016.