For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Stephen Kretzmann, steve [at] priceofoil [dot] org David Turnbull, david [at] priceofoil [dot] org

Trump picks Tillerson to 'Take the Oil' as Secretary of State

WASHINGTON - In response to the nomination of Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, to the office of Secretary of State of the United States of America, Stephen Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International, issued the following statement:

“Donald Trump made it clear during the campaign that he wants to ‘take the oil’ – and in Rex Tillerson, he’s found his man. Trump has spotlighted what most of the world already knows: U.S. foreign policy is governed by the myopic, perceived need to access and control oil. The honesty and naked truth of the revealed petrostate is actually quite refreshing.

“Adding insult to injury, Tillerson’s rumored second-in-command would be John Bolton, the man who let the mask slip on the Bush foreign policy agenda when he referred to the Persian Gulf as a ‘critical oil- and natural gas-producing region we fought so many wars to try and protect.’


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“Does Rex Tillerson understand that democracy, the Earth’s climate, and human rights matter more than profits and petroleum? To judge by his record, you’d have to say no. In Tillerson’s tenure, ExxonMobil has supported undemocratic regimes, attacked climate science and activists, and stands accused in U.S. courts of complicity in human rights abuses including torture, murder, and sexual assault.

“To everyone keeping score at home, you can mark this up as Putin’s payback for election intervention. The nomination of Rex Tillerson has revealed with startling clarity that our government is being set up to support the interests of Big Oil and Putin, not the American people or the planet. Now more than ever, we demand a Separation of Oil and State.”

Note to editors: ExxonMobil has been subject to a lawsuit alleging numerous human rights abuses, including sexual assault, in Aceh, Indonesia. For more information, see:


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Oil Change International is a research, communication, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the coming transition towards clean energy.

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