Tillerson's email alias was prompted by business needs, Exxon says

Brittany BishopMar 15, 2017

The New York attorney general says that while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was CEO of Exxon he used an alias in emails to talk about climate change.

Schneiderman says investigators have found about 60 documents with references to the "Wayne Tracker" alias, which ExxonMobil's Alan Jeffers says was for easier communication between Tillerson and other top executives at the company.

Tillerson's middle name is Wayne, but the company did not explain the origin of the name of "Wayne Tracker".

"If they had nothing to hide", Jamie Henn, the communications director at climate change advocacy group 350.org, said, "than why the secret email account?"

Mr Schneiderman is investigating whether Exxon misled investors and the public about climate change.

Mr Schneiderman said Exxon had failed to give his office all documents covered by a court order in response to the investigation.

In a letter to a state judge, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office said an investigation into the company's climate science revealed Tillerson used an email account under the name "Wayne Tracker" between at least 2008 and 2015.

"Exxon has continuously delayed and obstructed the production of documents from its top executives and board members, which are crucial to OAG's investigation into Exxon's touted risk management practices regarding climate change".

Attorney General Schneiderman has subpoenaed Exxon for internal documents and communications that might show the thought process behind these decisions, and he is now tussling with the company over the documents they've handed over-and the ones they may not have. The company said it has co-operated with the subpoena, and that the existence of the Wayne Tracker email account, and its connection to Tillerson, has been known to the attorney general for more than a year.

News of Tillerson's email account comes as the Trump administration weighs the future of the Paris climate deal, a major worldwide diplomatic effort to cut carbon emissions. "ExxonMobil has been responsive to the attorney general's subpoena and has provided more than 2.5 million pages of documents".

"Media reports indicating that emails to or from this address were exclusively for climate-related topics are false", the statement reads.

In 2010 he said that it's not clear to what extent humans are affecting climate change through greenhouse gas emissions and he has also pronounced that: "The world is going to have to continue using fossil fuels, whether they like it or not".

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