Former oil executive and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did talk about climate change while CEO of Exxon Mobil — just not under his real name — according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Tillerson used an alias to send and receive global warming data via email, Reuters and NBC News are reporting. The original accusation was levied in a letter to a judge overseeing an investigation launched by the New York attorney general. The AG claims Exxon mislead the public and its shareholders about climate change.
Exxon acknowledged that the address, Wayne.Tracker@exxonmobil.com, was used for “expedited” high-level talks between Tillerson and other executives at Exxon. Tillerson’s middle name is Wayne.
The underlying case, People of the State of New York v. PricewaterhouseCoopers and Exxon Mobil Corporation, was filed in New York State Supreme Court, New York County. It involves claims that Exxon Mobil made “false, deceptive, or misleading statements about climate change and the impact it may have on its bottom line,” according to a Feb. 5, 2016 letter by the New York Attorney General to supporters.
“We launched this probe after an important news series revealed that the company may have misled investors about the risks of climate change,” Schneiderman said. New York sought information from PricewaterhouseCoopers as part of the probe. Initially, the companies argued that communications between Exxon and its auditors at PwC were subject to privilege under Texas law, but a New York judge disagreed with that interpretation and ordered PwC to turn documents over to New York authorities.