Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Opposition Grows as Congressional Hearings Begin on Trump's Cabinet Nominations

Popular
Opposition Grows as Congressional Hearings Begin on Trump's Cabinet Nominations

By Andy Rowell

As Washington gets back to work after the Holiday break and it begins the process of Congressional hearings for nominations over Trump's cabinet, so the resistance to those appointments is increasing too.

You can pick any number of presidential nominees for their regressive and abhorrent policies on women, religion, gay rights or the environment, but for many people a line is crossed in the sand with the appointment of Rex Tillerson, former Exxon chief executive, who stepped down from the oil giant on New Year's day.

Here is a man whose company led the climate denial charge for decades. Here is a man whose company is now subject to a criminal investigation into lying to shareholders and the public about the science and risks of climate change. Here is a man whose company stands accused of human rights abuses too and for more than 40 years has always put Exxon first, no matter the cost to life or the environment. This is a man who has oil running through his veins, not stars and stripes on his heart.

Tillerson is a blinkered oilman to the last … yesterday's man, who believes in yesterday's technology and is wedded to yesterday's thinking.

As Lee Wasserman, the director of the Rockefeller Family Fund, so elegantly wrote in the LA Times, "[Tillerson] rose through its ranks to CEO, but he was so cloistered in its corporate culture that he could not appreciate the decline of an outdated business model. As a case study for MBA students, that's perhaps instructive; as a biography of the nominee to be secretary of State, that's frightening."

As well as decades of old climate denial, Tillerson headed the company in the new era of climate denial, believing that the company could just carry on drilling for oil, no matter the science and increasingly evidence that we cannot burn all the fossil fuel reserves. As more and more influential people warned of stranded assets or unburnable carbon, Exxon kept on drilling.

"Most profoundly, Tillerson has never backed down from Exxon Mobil's position that it can pump and burn all its known fossil fuel reserves," Wasserman said.

Add to that Exxon's disregard for free speech, transparency and Tillerson's closeness to Putin and we have a real problem. "For the next four years a fossil-fuel-friendly Trump administration and Vladimir Putin's Russia could be aligned around one goal: sell as much oil and gas as possible, climate change be damned," argued Wasserman.

To try and placate the growing number of critics and the stench of a conflict of interest, it has been announced that Tillerson has relinquished control of an estimated $240 million in Exxon shares. But that move is unlikley to placate the growing number of critics who oppose Tillerson's nomination.

Next Page
Lakota spiritual leader Chief Arvol Looking Horse attends a demonstration against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 28, 2015. Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is planning to cancel the controversial Keystone XL pipeline on the first day of his administration, a document reported by CBC on Sunday suggests.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst stand at the Orion spacecraft during a visit at the training unit of the Columbus space laboratory at the European Astronaut training centre of the European Space Agency ESA in Cologne, Germany on May 18, 2016. Ina Fassbender / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

By Monir Ghaedi

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep most of Europe on pause, the EU aims for a breakthrough in its space program. The continent is seeking more than just a self-sufficient space industry competitive with China and the U.S.; the industry must also fit into the European Green Deal.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A new species of bat has been identified in West Africa. MYOTIS NIMBAENSIS / BAT CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL

In 2018, a team of researchers went to West Africa's Nimba Mountains in search of one critically endangered species of bat. Along the way, they ended up discovering another.

Read More Show Less
Seabirds often follow fishing vessels to find easy meals. Alexander Petrov / TASS via Getty Images

By Jim Palardy

As 2021 dawns, people, ecosystems, and wildlife worldwide are facing a panoply of environmental issues. In an effort to help experts and policymakers determine where they might focus research, a panel of 25 scientists and practitioners — including me — from around the globe held discussions in the fall to identify emerging issues that deserve increased attention.

Read More Show Less
A damaged home and flooding are seen in Creole, Louisiana, following Hurricane Laura's landfall on August 27, 2020. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Elliott Negin

What a difference an election makes. Thanks to the Biden-Harris victory in November, the next administration is poised to make a 180-degree turn to again address the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less