Stand Up Against This Very Real Threat.
It seems harder and harder to come up with the appropriate language, but Donald Trump’s nomination of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State truly strains belief. This nomination is dangerous and unacceptable. We will not tolerate naked corporate greed in our government — and neither should you.
As the CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson presided over a company that has cozied up to brutal dictators, abetted human rights abuses across the globe, and perpetuated a decades-long misinformation campaign to hide the effects of fossil fuels on the climate. ExxonMobil funded climate change denialists, and has aggressively pushed to open up some of the world’s last pristine places to oil and gas extraction.
ExxonMobil has also aggressively worked to undermine transparency and reporting laws for the fossil fuel industry, while simultaneously profiting from shady deals with rogue regimes around the world.
As the United States chief diplomat, the Secretary of State will be responsible for negotiating the United States’ agreements with other countries. The world’s best hope to negotiating a treaty keeping global warming under catastrophic levels absolutely cannot sit in the hands of the CEO of the biggest oil and gas company in the world.
Under Tillerson, Exxon’s corporate greed has gone hand in hand with human rights and labor rights abuses for decades. Tillerson is known to have negotiated deals worth billions of dollars with Russia, a country with an abysmal human rights record. The Human Rights Campaign recently labeled current president Vladimir Putin as a “brutal dictator.”
Also, investigations by Global Witness revealed that the company “has engaged in questionable transactions with governments of oil-rich countries, including Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Angola and Chad. Such deals have contributed to entrenching poverty, fuelling instability and violating human rights in some of the world’s most volatile regions.”
Exxon Mobil also actively worked with the government of Equatorial Guinea, which, according The New York Times, “arbitrarily detains and tortures critics, disregards elections, and has faced international prosecution for using oil profits to enrich the president’s family.”
Our government should be regulating corporate interests, not putting corporate CEOs in charge of the government. Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State is a fundamental threat to our nation and our planet.
For the future,
Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network