Published: Wed, March 15, 2017
Business | By Sandy Mccarthy

Tillerson Used Email Alias at Exxon to Talk Climate Change

Tillerson Used Email Alias at Exxon to Talk Climate Change

The New York attorney general says that while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was CEO of Exxon he used an alias in emails to talk about climate change.

Emails Pruitt sent while serving as Oklahoma's attorney general revealed his cozy relationship with oil and gas companies at the same time Pruitt was suing the EPA over regulations that sought to prevent those companies from polluting the country's natural resources, the New York Times reported.

"This is a significant development in Schneiderman's investigation into what Exxon knew about climate change, when it knew it, and what the company did to hide it", Ages said in a statement.

"Exxon's top executives, and in particular, Mr. Tillerson, have made multiple representations that are at the center of [the Office of the Attorney General's] investigation of potentially false or misleading statements to investors and the public", the letter said.

Tillerson's middle name is Wayne.

ExxonMobil produced roughly 60 documents from the "Wayne Tracker" account, but Schneiderman says it never disclosed that this had been Tillerson's account. His "Red Rufus" email account, a reference to his call sign as a Marine pilot, is still his primary email address, Lutz said Tuesday in an email.

Court-ordered documents from Exxon Mobil are proving that secret identities - or at least secret email identities - aren't only for comic book superheroes.

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His office asked Judge Barry Ostrager to schedule a compliance conference at the "earliest possible date".

As the letter states, information exchanged under the Wayne Tracker alias might prove relevant to the investigation.

This all resulted from an InsideClimate News award-winning expose in 2015 showing that ExxonMobil conducted its own climate research in the 1980s that confirmed its role in exacerbating climate change, yet it would go on to later dispute the science outside the company.

"To realize that Exxon hasn't been complying is really disturbing", said Jamie Henn, the communications director at 350.org, a group building political support to address climate change.

Alan Jeffers, a spokesman for Exxon Mobil, said the account was created for "secure and expedited communications" between Mr Tillerson and senior executives over a range of "business-related topics".

Exxon plans to respond to Schneiderman in a court filing within the next several days, Jeffers said. Shortly afterwards, based on the same legal theory, the OAG launched its investigation into Exxon.

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