Tillerson Admits Climate Risk, Avoids Exxon’s Role In Sowing Doubt

"Secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson on Wednesday said he believes 'the risk of climate change does exist, and the consequences could be serious enough that action should be taken.' But while the Obama administration and other world leaders have aggressively pursued efforts to slash carbon dioxide emissions and stave off global warming, the former ExxonMobil chief executive expressed little such urgency when testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

Asked by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) about his personal position on climate change, Tillerson said he formed his views 'over about 20 years as an engineer and a scientist, understanding the evolution of the science.' Ultimately, he said, he concluded that increasing greenhouse-gas concentrations in the atmosphere are having an effect on the earth’s climate. But he added, 'Our ability to predict that effect is very limited,' and precisely what actions nations should take 'seems to be the largest area of debate existing in the public discourse.'

Tillerson’s statements on climate change were in line with views he has expressed in the past: In short, that climate change is real and could pose problems for humans, but the degree of threat remains unclear. Tillerson sees climate change primarily through the eyes of an engineer, as something that must be solved largely through innovation and ingenuity."

Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis report for the New York Times January 11, 2017.


"Rex Tillerson's Senate Confirmation Hearing: Live Updates" (InsideClimate News)

"Tillerson Testifies He'll Be Active In Energy Diplomacy" (Greenwire)

"Exxon’s Tillerson Murky on Future of Paris Climate Pact" (Climate Central)

"A Closer Sense Of Trump Climate Stance? Tillerson Says It's A 'Threat.'" (Christian Science Monitor)

Source: Wash Post, 01/12/2017