Jan. 23, 2017 – Statement of David Arkush, Managing Director, Public Citizen’s Climate Program
Note: Sunday and today, U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) announced that they will vote to confirm former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be President Donald Trump’s choice for U.S. secretary of state. The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is expected to vote today to move Tillerson’s nomination for full Senate consideration.
Former ExxonMobil Corp. CEO Rex Tillerson made clear at his confirmation hearing that he is unprepared and unqualified to serve as secretary of state. He was unable to address concerns about global conflicts, unable and unwilling to address policy and conflict issues related to his tenure at Exxon – including the most critical issue of climate change – and unwilling to condemn blatant human rights violations. He made misleading statements to the committee about Exxon’s lobbying record, claimed not to remember anything about Exxon’s deliberate effort to bypass U.S. sanctions on Iran and flatly refused to answer questions about whether Exxon deliberately misled the public on climate change.
Senators who vote to confirm Tillerson in light of this performance are failing at their jobs and failing America. Senate Republicans in particular need to locate their spines. It’s time to show the American public that they will defend the nation’s health, economy, security and basic decency against the new president’s assaults. Confirming Rex Tillerson is a terrible start.