Tillerson Refuses To Answer Dems’ Questions About Exxon’s Climate Research

President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state nominee refused to answer questions during confirmation hearings regarding what the former Exxon CEO knew about the oil company’s supposed history of hiding climate research.

Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Ed Markey of Massachusetts grilled the former oil company executive on claims made by various attorneys general and media outlets insisting that Exxon hid internal research about climate change from investors and the public. Tillerson sidestepped most climate-related questions, telling senators that he lacked the knowledge necessary to answer.

Journalists blasted Exxon after a series of investigations conducted by InsideClimate News in 2015 found the company was allegedly playing fast and loose with information concerning global warming. The probes prompted various attorneys general to engage in their own investigations to determine if claims of possible fraud by Exxon were valid.

Kaine started his questions with a cursory rundown of Exxon’s history with climate change.

The investigations, Kaine said, concluded that pollution was affecting the world in destructive ways and that Exxon Mobil was downplaying research about climate change. ICN’s reporting also found that the company continued to fund so-called climate “deniers,” the former vice presidential nominee added.

The Virginia Democrat went on to ask Tillerson whether the allegations dredged up by ICN were true or false, to which the former Exxon CEO responded: “The question would have to be put to Exxon Mobil.”

Kaine then asked Trump’s nominee if he was refusing to answer or if he simply lacked the knowledge necessary to answer the question. Tillerson said “a little bit of both,” and reminded Kaine that he no longer holds an executive position with the oil company.

“It’s shameful Tillerson refused to answer my questions on his company’s role in funding phony climate science. Bottom line: #ExxonKnew,” Kaine tweeted shortly after Tillerson shot down his questions.

Markey, for his part, raked the former oil executive over the coals for Exxon’s alleged funding of “climate deniers.” The Massachusetts Democrat asked Tillerson to reassure Americans that climate change is an important issue despite his company’s historical positions on climate change.

Tillerson, who has previously made public his belief in man-made global warming and his support for the Paris climate agreement, said he would continue to engage Trump on the importance of confronting climate change. He added, though, that Trump is his own person and would make the ultimate decision concerning which climate policies to pursue.

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    Amber

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    Exxon knew it made and sold perfectly legal products that are
    the reason we enjoy the highest standard of living
    in human history . If Senator Marley and Kaine knew or thought they knew fossil fuels were so harmful why do they keep buying and using them ? Walk the talk at least before you embarrass your self as a hypocrite .
    Climate changes and it’s thankfully warming . Humans are bit players but at least we help it warm a smidge .
    Nobody has died from higher levels of atmospheric CO2 (plant food ) however tens of thousands each year die from fuel poverty caused by dumb ass politicians promoting
    policies supporting an overblown scam .
    The question is when did the politicians know their policies were killing people and doing virtually nothing about adjusting the earths thermostat ? The politicians
    who push energy prices to “skyrocket ” clearly know that the consequences of their
    foolish and naïve actions are . A $$ Billion dollar class action suit windfall is going to go to the law firm that takes on this crime against humanity .

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