At the moment Rex Tillerson is the hot favourite for Secretary of State. He runs the worlds largest oil and gas company, Exxon, which is also the ninth largest company in the world, and has had a near perfect credit rating since, ooo, the Great Depression. Not too shabby at negotiating deals then?
As a mark of his character, consider that while Tillerson ran Exxon, the company was one of the only ones that donated money to skeptics* — yet Exxon is an oil and gas company, not a coal miner — so it would profit from anti-carbon schemes that it was exposing. Big-Gas benefits from anti-coal rules, because coal is so cheap. For all the talk of “fossil fuels funding skeptics” all the other Big Gas majors like BP and Shell have ridden the green wave, picking up government subsidies, lobbying for carbon trading and wind farms (which need gas backup).
So if Tillerson wanted to take the easy road, he would never have funded skeptics. He’s been on the “top-ten” enemy-list for the EcoWorriers for having actually given some money to skeptics (a tiny fraction of what Exxon gave to renewables, but a sin of the first order nonetheless.) There aren’t many people who’ve borne more flack from the fans of Big Government.
The vitriol against Exxon reached fever pitch in 2005-2008. Environmental groups urged a boycott of Exxon for its views on Global Warming7. It was labeled An Enemy of the Planet. 8 James Hansen called for CEOs of fossil energy companies to be “tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.”9 In the next breath he mentioned Exxon.
Even The Royal Society, which ought to stand up for scientists and also for impeccable standards of logic, joined the chorus to implore Exxon to censor its speech10.
Exxon funding to skeptics ended in 2007, but Exxon even faced a potential RICO probe this year. The “stain” of funding skeptics is spun out for years.
Perhaps Trump just like Tillerson’s efficiency — when it comes to funding skeptics Exxon paid a mere 0.8% of what the US government spent on the climate industry at the same time — yet Exxon was accused of “distorting the debate”. That’s value for money.
So what job will Trump give the Koch’s I wonder.
PS: while Desmog ties everyone to Exxon, they tie Tillerson to Russia —proving in DeSmogland that everyone is tied to something other than the things they are tied too.
*Not to me!
UPDATE: On second thoughts, maybe Tillerson doesn’t deserve quite so much credit for funding skeptics. He was VP from 1999-2004, then President til 2006, and CEO thereafter. Lee Redmond was CEO before him and as Alan Moran suggests – might be more the guy who deserves the credit. Tillerson has apparently said some things lately that don’t sound at all skeptical, like saying we need to reduce emissions and sign up for Paris. Hmm.