Wel­come aboard

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

RexW.Tiller­son­is­there­cip­i­entof an un­set­tling, if not scathing let­ter from a pair of U.S. sen­a­tors, wel­com­ing him to his new post as chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Exxon Mo­bil Corp.

After­con­grat­u­lat­ingMr.Tiller­son for reach­ing the helm of the oil gi­ant, Repub­li­canSen.OlympiaJ.Snoweof Maine and Demo­cratic Sen. John D. Rock­e­feller IV of West Vir­ginia cut straight­tothechase,crit­i­ciz­ingth­e­so­called“cli­mat­e­change­de­nial­strat­egy car­ried out by and for Exxon Mo­bil” against global warm­ing.

Inthethree-pagelet­ter­ob­tainedby In­sid­e­the­Belt­way,the­se­n­a­torssayit’s theirun­der­stand­ingth­atExxonMo­bil is “the pri­mary fun­der of no fewer than 29 cli­mate-change de­nial front groups in 2004 alone.”

In ad­di­tion, they write, “Exxon Mo­bil has spent more than $19 mil­lion since the late 1990s on a strat­egy of ‘in­for­ma­tion laun­der­ing,’ or en­ablin­gas­mall­num­berof­pro­fes­sional skep­tics work­ing through sci­en­tific­soundin­gor­ga­ni­za­tion­sto­fun­neltheir view­points” through var­i­ous me­dia.

“Exxon Mo­bil and its part­ners in de­nial have man­u­fac­tured con­tro­versy, sown doubt and im­peded progress with strate­gies all-too rem­i­nis­cent of those used by the to­bacco in­dus­try for so many years,” the sen­a­tors charge.

They­goso­fara­s­tore­quest­that,for starters, Mr. Tiller­son “pub­licly ac­knowl­edge both the re­al­ity of the cli­mate change and the role of hu­mans in­causin­gorex­ac­er­batin­git.Sec­ond, ExxonMo­bil­shoul­drepu­di­ateitscli­mate-change de­nial cam­paign and make pub­lic its fund­ing his­tory.

“Fi­nally, we be­lieve that there would­be­aben­e­fit­totheUnit­edS­tates if one of the world’s largest car­bon emit­ter­shead­quar­tered­here­de­voted at least some of the money it has in­vested in cli­mate-change de­nial pseudo-sci­ence­toglob­al­re­me­di­a­tion ef­forts.” [. . .]

Th­e­se­n­a­torss­in­gled­out­theCom­pet­i­tiveEn­ter­priseIn­sti­tuteinWash- in­g­tona­sone­such­pur­vey­o­rof­global cli­mate-change skep­ti­cism that re­ceived Exxon Mo­bil fund­ing, al­though they add that there are “dozens of other over­lap­ping and in­ter­lock­ing front groups shar­ing the same ob­fus­ca­tion agenda.”

No re­turn let­ter yet from Mr. Tiller­son.

File photo

CBS News an­chor Katie Couric re­ceived a Pa­trick Henry Award for her tran­si­tion from “fluffy” morn­ing-show host to a se­ri­ous news heavy­weight.

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