Today, January 11, 2017, was the first day of hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFR) on the confirmation of Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State. Tillerson evaded direct questions about if he would continue to press for removal of sanctions against Russia. He refused to denounce Russia’s human rights abuses of Syrian civilians. He equivocated about whether climate change is caused by human activity. He seemed clueless about world affairs, outside of Russia. He played dumb about Russian hacking. And he gave little indication that he would act independently of his boss, Donald Trump.
The hearing will continue Thursday, January 12, and from that point the SFR can decide to move the nomination to the entire Senate for an up or down vote, or stall it in committee, effectively killing the nomination. We want Tillerson’s nomination to die in the SFR committee. If the SFR Senators get enough calls from their constituents, it can happen. Public pressure has prevented complete gutting of the Government Ethics Office, and has postponed several hearings that Trump originally wanted on 1/12/17
Five Reasons to Call Your Senator Now to refuse this nominee
- Exxon is the world’s #1 contributor to climate change. The company has known for 40 years that fossil fuel extraction and burning contribute to climate change, and it has spent 35 of those 40 years actively denying the science and lobbying to prevent worldwide action on climate change. Meanwhile, Exxon factored warming seas into its calculations on Arctic oil extraction.
- Rex Tillerson, as Secretary of State, would enter with huge conflicts of interest. Tillerson could reverse or make policy decisions about U.S. sanctions against Russia. Reversing sanctions would allow a $500 billion Arctic oil exploration deal to go forward, making Exxon and Russia’s state-owned oil company Rosneft rich, even if it makes the U.S. less safe. Tillerson himself owns $218 million in Exxon stock.
- The Arctic climate is fragile. It’s not just the risk of spills; methane and black carbon pollution from offshore oil development will increase global warming.
- Tillerson has no experience in diplomacy . World diplomacy is not one giant business deal – there are very delicate situations in the world that need tact, knowledge, and patience. “
- Tillerson cannot be trusted to put the USA’s interests ahead of Russia’s or of Exxons – as intelligence expert Malcolm Nance asked on MSNBC’s Joy Reid show, “Do we want a secretary of state who is going to be working hand in hand first and foremost for the U.S. and Russian petrochemical industries?”
Call your Senator on the Foreign Relations Committee
- Marco Rubio (R-Florida) @ Next election: 2022
- Bob Corker (R-Tennessee)(Chairman) Next election: 2018
- Jim Risch (R-Idaho) Next election: 2020
- Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) Next election: 2022
- Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) Next election: 2018
- Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) Next election: 2020
- David Perdue (R-Georgia) Next election: 2020
- Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) Next election: 2022
- Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) Next election: 2022
- John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) Next election: 2018
- Todd Young (R – Indiana) Next election: 2022
- Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) (Ranking Member) Next election: 2018
- Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) Next election: 2018
- Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire) Next election: 2020
- Chris Coons (D-Delaware) Next election: 2020
- Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) Next election: 2020
- Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) Next election: 2018
- Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) Next election: 2018
- Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) Next election: 2020
- Cory Booker (D- New Jersey) Next election: 2020
- Jeff Merkley (D- Oregon) Next election: 2020