Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
Washington, D.C. -- “Since Food & Water Watch became the first national advocacy organization to call for a ban on fracking, we’ve been organizing to counter the enormous influence of fossil fuel money on our policymakers. Now, if Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is confirmed as Secretary of State, the head of America’s largest oil and gas company would be controlling U.S. foreign policy. This is a frightful prospect for our planet.
“Tillerson is reportedly the latest in a spate of shockingly compromised, wholly unqualified cabinet appointments. Goldman Sachs is well represented in Trump’s cabinet, as are right-wing extremists that want to roll back civil rights and restrict access to the polls. If confirmed, Tillerson would have an unprecedented platform to promote drilling and fracking for oil and gas around the world at the expense of clean energy and our climate.
“Under Tillerson’s leadership, Exxon targeted Germany, a nation with a strong commitment to renewables and energy efficiency, for natural gas drilling and fracking. Exxon has expended enormous resources in Germany to manipulate public opinion, funding a vast propaganda campaign in the media. Exxon is not just a top corporate lobbying spender in the U.S.—it was also one of the largest spenders in lobbying the European Union in 2014, to the tune of more than $5 million.
“Exxon’s leadership has stated that ‘the pursuit of alternative fuels must not detract from the development of oil and gas.’ We must presume that aggressive opposition to renewables – and environmental protection at large – would become official policy in a Trump-Tillerson State Department.
“At a time when we should be rapidly transitioning away from dirty, polluting energy, Trump’s cabinet of Wall Street billionaires and industry insiders will turn us back to a gilded age while inviting climate chaos. For the sake of our planet and the safe, healthy existence of future generations, well-meaning people across the political spectrum need to urgently organize to resist the extremist Trump agenda. In the meantime, the Senate must reject Tillerson’s appointment as Secretary of State.
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.
Contact: Darcey Rakestraw, 202-683-2467; [email protected]
 Hauter, Wenonah, Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment, New Press, June 2016, pp 188-195.