A Government of Big Oil, for Big Oil, and by Big Oil - Clean Water Action on the Nomination of Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State

Washington, D.C. - Today Donald Trump officially nominated Rex Tillerson, CEO of oil giant ExxonMobil, as Secretary of State. If confirmed, Mr. Tillerson will be the first U.S. Secretary of State in history with no government or diplomatic experience. Clean Water Action President and CEO Bob Wendelgass released this statement.

"The nomination of Rex Tillerson is dangerous. Mr. Tillerson has spent a career putting the interests of his shareholders ahead of his country and the environment. He is the CEO of a company whose goal is to continue increasing the world's dependence on oil and gas extraction. It's ironic this announcement was made on the same day EPA confirmed that fracking for oil and gas poses real risks to drinking water. I doubt these threats will be taken seriously if Mr. Tillerson becomes Secretary of State.

Exxon has funded malicious attempts to undermine the scientific consensus that human-caused climate change is real and happening now, and Exxon is also under investigation for hiding that it knew for decades that climate change is a threat. It's hard to imagine Rex Tillerson pivoting from misleading the public to continuing U.S. leadership on climate action when that action will impact ExxonMobil's stock prices.

This is another step toward putting corporate CEOs in control of the federal government. Nominating Rex Tillerson is the furthest thing from an 'America First' policy – it risks putting the interests of huge oil and gas companies first, rather than the needs of the American people."


Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. We will protect clean water in the face of attacks from a polluter friendly Administration and Congress.

Michael Kelly