Sec. of State Rex Tillerson Allegedly Used Very Stupid Alias for Climate Change EmailsPhotos by Pool/Getty, Mark Wilson/Getty Politics News Rex Tillerson
That’s the alias that Secretary of State Rex Wayne Tillerson allegedly used in emails to discuss climate change issues while he was the chief executive of multinational oil and gas giant ExxonMobil.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman lobbed the accusation in a letter he sent to a New York court on Monday as a part of an investigation into whether the company hid information from investors and the general public about the link between climate change and fossil fuels.
The corporation, a direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, possibly knew about the dangerous link as early as 1981, according to The Guardian. According to reporting from Mother Jones, between 2000 and 2003, ExxonMobil gave at least $8 million to 40 organizations that employed a disinformation campaign against the Kyoto Protocol, which commits countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and still hasn’t been ratified by the United States.
While Tillerson was not the president of ExxonMobil at the time of those campaigns, he was Executive Vice President of ExxonMobil Development Company, though it’s not yet clear from the Schneiderman investigation what the timeframe is for the emails in question.
Schneiderman says investigators have found about 60 documents with references to the “Wayne Tracker” alias, which ExxonMobil’s Alan Jeffers says was for easier communication between Tillerson and other top executives at the company.
Tillerson’s own past comments about the ties between climate change and fossil fuels have been somewhat non-committal. In 2010 he said that it’s not clear to what extent humans are affecting climate change through greenhouse gas emissions and he has also pronounced that: “The world is going to have to continue using fossil fuels, whether they like it or not.”
In the present day, there’s been no official comment from the State Department about the email issue and it’s referring questions to ExxonMobil.