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."