After the Senate had voted 56-43 to confirm Donald Trump’s Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, Greenpeace released a blistering statement that said Senators who voted to confirm Tillerson had left their spines at home.
In a statement, Greenpeace U.S. Climate Liability Campaigner Naomi Ages said:
The Senators voting to confirm Rex Tillerson have clearly left their spines at home. Instead of standing up to a historically unpopular President, they’re letting Trump hand the State department over to the oil and gas industry.
Corruption has marked Rex Tillerson’s appointment from the beginning, and it would be naive to expect differently through his tenure at the State Department. Already we have seen the Trump Administration warming his seat by threatening to lift the U.S. sanctions that were a response to Russian aggression against our allies and our own national security. Instead of being punished or even investigated for their overt threats to global security and our Democracy, Tillerson’s Russian magnate friends are being rewarded by the Administration and a few dozen craven Senators.
Tillerson was complicit in Exxon’s decades-long denial of climate science, and he used his company’s deep pockets to silence and intimidate anyone who was critical of its disregard for the public good. Rex Tillerson’s record, friendships, and business interests clearly foreshadow the dangerous oil diplomacy he will pursue as Secretary of State.
Confirming Rex Tillerson over the opposition of millions of Americans and an unprecedented number of Senators from every region of the country is a call to action. We will continue to work with our allies to resist this hostile takeover of the U.S. government by an oil and gas industry determined to forestall a livable future.
The three Democrats who voted to confirm Tillerson were Senators Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp, and Mark Warner. Independent Angus King also voted for confirmation.
The Democrats who voted for such an unqualified and frankly dangerous nominee to be secretary of state did pull a cowardly move that was clearly more about political self-preservation than taking a stand against an unfit nominee.
Climate change denial and Big Oil are running the State Department. I hope the three Democrats who voted for Tillerson’s confirmation can live with what they have done to their country and their planet.