7 Reasons Why Rex Tillerson Should Not Be America's Next Secretary of State
By Andy Rowell
There could be fireworks on Capital Hill today when Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee finally grill Rex Tillerson on his potential nomination as Secretary of State.
Tillerson may also face hostile questioning from Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who if he votes with the Democrats could block Tillerson's nomination. The committee currently stands at 10-9 between Republicans and Democrats.
Here are some of the issues that might have Rex on the ropes:
1, Exxon's Climate Denial
Much has been written recently about Exxon's decades long denial of climate change. For decades Exxon poured tens of millions into the climate denial movement. The company is under a criminal investigation now for lying to the public and share-holders. It is the scandal which is known as #Exxonknew. It is hard for Tillerson to extract himself from his old employer's deceit and denial.
2. Exxon's Ecological Record
Exxon is currently being sued for breaking clean air laws at the company's huge sprawling Baytown oil refinery and chemical plant in Texas, more than 4,000 times between 2005 and 2010.
Luke Metzger, director of Austin-based nonprofit Environment Texas argues: "They are a major polluter that is breaking the law and threatening the health of millions of Texans and I think they are grossly irresponsible to their neighbors."
Likewise in an article for Time Magazine, Anne Rolfes, the founding director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade recalls when she met with the "Exxon manager at the Chalmette Refinery as we worked to get Exxon to reduce its pollution before the oil giant sold its shares there. 'I brought up the fact that benzene causes leukemia and that Exxon releases benzene into the neighborhood. The once calm manager flushed red at my words. He became aggressive when the subject of cancer came up' … Under Rex Tillerson's leadership, Exxon has done its best to subvert the truth and avoid inconvenient facts like the connection between benzene and cancer."
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) budget will still be slashed by nearly a third, from $8.2 billion to $5.65 billion, under President Trump's fiscal 2018 budget proposal released Tuesday.
The EPA, which has long been targeted by the Trump administration, is the hardest hit federal agency under the new plan. Opponents say it "endangers Americans" and cripples an institution charged with protecting their health and safety.
Frustrated by non-experts taking to the internet to dispute the science behind human-made climate change, North Carolina meteorologist Greg Fishel issued a challenge to climate deniers, urging them to "put up or shut up" and "submit your work the way real scientists do, and see where it takes you."
The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) system leaked more than 100 gallons of oil in two separate incidents in North Dakota in March.
This is the $3.8 billion project's third known leak. The controversial pipeline, which is not yet finished and not yet operational, also spilled 84 gallons of oil in South Dakota on April 4.
The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration Tuesday to uncover public records showing that federal employees have been censored from using words or phrases related to climate change in formal agency communications.
The news that Fiat-Chrysler is the latest auto-maker caught having massively—and probably illegally—exceeded allowable emission levels for its diesels cars raises a major question: Will this crisis shake Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne's long standing bet against history, in particular against the replacement of the internal combustion engine by the electric drive train?
On the eve of World Turtle Day, the world's largest travel website—TripAdvisor—removed the sale of tickets to the Cayman Turtle Centre, where more than 5,000 endangered sea turtles live in horrific conditions.
After numerous legal efforts trying to get a federal district court in Oregon to throw out a climate lawsuit brought by 21 young people, a defeated National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) filed a motion Monday requesting the court's permission to withdraw from the litigation.