Quantcast

Rex Tillerson Confirmed as Secretary of State

Energy

By Nadia Prupis

The U.S. Senate has confirmed former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State, revealing "just how much fossil fuel industry money has corrupted Congress," as climate group 350.org put it.

The 56-43 vote went largely along party lines, but got some Democratic support, including from Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Mark Warner (Va.), as well as Independent Sen. Angus King (Maine)—the same non-Republican quartet who allowed Tillerson to advance on Tuesday.

"A vote for Rex Tillerson is a vote for climate disaster," said May Boeve, 350 executive director. "Negotiating oil deals with human-rights abusing heads of state does not qualify you to lead international diplomacy. The fight against Tillerson's nomination revealed just how much fossil fuel industry money has corrupted Congress."

"In the face of this corruption, we all must come together to fight for the renewable energy revolution and an economy that works for all of us," she said.

Despite the marginally bipartisan support, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) pointed out that Tillerson also received the highest "no" vote of any secretary of state candidate since at least World War II.

Tillerson stepped down from his post at Exxon in December. During his confirmation hearings, the oil baron only offered to recuse himself for a year from diplomatic decisions that could impact Exxon, downplayed the urgency of climate change, and danced around questions over what Exxon knew about global warming decades ago.

"Tillerson failed to explain how he would resolve potential conflicts of interest over the next four years and...evaded questions about ExxonMobil's positions and actions under his leadership," said Kathy Mulvey, UCS' accountability campaign manager, calling on him to recuse himself from those decisions for the duration of his four-year term and ensure that the U.S. takes proactive steps to keep global warming below 2°C, as prescribed by the landmark Paris climate agreement.

"The scientific community and the 194 other countries that signed the Paris climate agreement will not sit idly by," Mulvey said. "We will be watching Mr. Tillerson's actions closely."

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

One of the 25 new Long Beach Transit hybrid gasoline-electric buses on April 23, 2009. Jeff Gritchen / Digital First Media / Orange County Register / Getty Images

In Long Beach, California, some electric buses can charge along their route without cords or wires.

When a bus reaches the Pine Avenue station, it parks over a special charging pad. While passengers get on and off, the charger transfers energy to a receiver on the bottom of the bus.

Read More Show Less
Semi trucks travel along I94 on June 21 near Lake forest, Illinois. Scott Olson / Getty Images

The Trump administration pushed through an exemption to clean air rules, effectively freeing heavy polluting, super-cargo trucks from following clean air rules. It rushed the rule without conducting a federally mandated study on how it would impact public health, especially children, said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Inspector General Charles J. Sheehan in a report released yesterday, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

A time-restricted eating plan provides a new way to fight obesity and metabolic diseases that affect millions of people worldwide. RossHelen / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Satchin Panda and Pam Taub

People with obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure or high cholesterol are often advised to eat less and move more, but our new research suggests there is now another simple tool to fight off these diseases: restricting your eating time to a daily 10-hour window.

Read More Show Less
Kunhui Chih / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Plastic debris washed up on remote islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans has killed hermit crabs, which mistake the plastic for shells, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
A man and his dog walk past an H&M store in Stockholm, Sweden on March 11, 2014. Melanie Stetson Freeman / The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

By Ashutosh Pandey

H&M's flagship store at the Sergels Torg square in Stockholm is back in business after a months-long refurbishment. But it's not exactly business as usual here.

Read More Show Less