CIEL Statement on Rex Tillerson’s Confirmation as US Secretary of State

February 1, 2017

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson is unqualified and unfit to serve as the United States’ Secretary of State. In voting today to confirm his nomination, the Senate failed the dedicated employees of the State Department, it failed the people of the United States, and it failed our allies around the world.

To the Senators who voted for Rex Tillerson despite his close ties to Vladimir Putin, his manifest disregard for human rights and democratic values, and his role in Exxon’s ongoing campaign of climate denial and obstruction: Tillerson’s failures are now your failures—you can stop them, or you can own them, but you can’t avoid them. To those within the State Department working to protect human rights and the environment: we will support you. To our partners around the world who fear the US may abandon you: we will not.

And to Secretary of State Tillerson: we will hold you fully and constantly accountable for serving the interests of the American people, not the interests of Exxon. We direct your attention to 5 C.F.R. § 2635.502 and suggest you immediately recuse yourself from any and all decisions affecting the interests of ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute, the oil and gas industries, the petrochemical and plastics industries, or the interests of the Russian government. You should get started now: it’s a very, very long list.