Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Key Questions for Rex Tillerson on Energy and Environmental Policy
Press Release

RELEASE: Key Questions for Rex Tillerson on Energy and Environmental Policy

Washington, D.C. — On January 11, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold its hearing on the nomination of former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of state. Exxon Mobil is well-known for funding climate denial groups and for its ties with Russia, including the agreement with Russian state-owned Rosneft that facilitates oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Ocean and Black Sea. There are serious concerns about whether Tillerson, as secretary of state, would pursue energy and environmental policies that promote the welfare of the United States and its allies over the welfare of the oil and gas industry.

The Center for American Progress released a column today outlining key questions for the hearing—including questions on mitigation of carbon pollution, advancement of clean energy, and protection of the world’s oceans—that would help provide some insight into what shape international climate and environmental policy would take under Tillerson as lead diplomat of the United States.

“At the nomination hearing, Tillerson should explain how he assesses the threats of climate change to the economy, security, and welfare of the United States and its allies,” said Gwynne Taraska, Associate Director of Energy Policy at CAP. “He also should explain whether and how he would advance U.S. partnerships with countries around the globe to mitigate greenhouse gas pollution and support clean energy development as secretary of state.”

“A commitment to clean, sustainable oceans and coasts has been a hallmark of Secretary John Kerry’s tenure at the State Department and a major component of President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy,” said Michael Conathan, Director of Ocean Policy at CAP. “At the hearing, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee should question whether Tillerson—a career oil executive with a record of denying climate science —could act on behalf of the world’s oceans and the industries and communities that rely on healthy, robust ocean resources and ecosystems for their economic well-being and for the marine environment as a whole.”

Click here to read the column.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at [email protected] or 202.481.7141.