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.
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