Rex Tillerson Testifies in New York’s Case Against Exxon – Greenpeace Response

by Ryan Schleeter

October 30, 2019

Today, former Exxon CEO and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson testified in New York state’s case against Exxon. Tillerson’s career with the company began in 1975, and he served as CEO from 2006 to 2016 before being named Donald Trump’s first Secretary of State. During Tillerson’s tenure at the oil company, Exxon and its associated foundation gave more than $14 million [1] to organizations that deny the science of climate change.

In response, Greenpeace USA Climate Campaign Director Janet Redman said:

“Exxon and Rex Tillerson knew about the dangers of climate change and chose to double down on climate deception. The climate-fueled disasters we see year after year — from raging fires in California to devastating hurricanes in the southeast — are the result. That’s also why there is a growing wave of climate cases seeking to hold corporations accountable here and abroad.

“There’s much more to the story of Exxon’s climate denial than what Rex Tillerson told us today. As this trial and others continue, what the oil industry knew about climate science — and when — will come into clear focus. Climate denial is not a victimless crime, and it’s time to hold those responsible accountable.

“In spite of Exxon’s climate deception, or perhaps because he was willing to put billions of people at risk for personal profit, this is the man Donald Trump chose to be his first secretary of state. Trump was willing to tap someone unqualified, unprepared, and downright dangerous to be the country’s top diplomat all to solidify the ties between his administration and the industry at the center of the climate crisis. Our next president will need to do the opposite: end Big Oil’s stranglehold on our democracy and pave the way towards a Green New Deal that puts people before profit.”



Contact: Ryan Schleeter, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (415) 342-2386, [email protected]

Ryan Schleeter

By Ryan Schleeter

Ryan Schleeter is a senior communications specialist with Greenpeace USA covering climate and energy. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Grist, GreenBiz, EcoWatch, and more. Find him on Twitter @ryschlee.

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