Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Big Oil Boss goes to Washington

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson at the Atlantic Institute

For all the talk and promises of "Draining the Swamp," a phrase that itself has a negative connation because of history, President elect Trump is packing his administration and advisors with all kinds of Wall Street people. Trump himself is no stranger to Wall Street and has been friends and buddies with CEOS of Corporations who could careless about their employees let alone the larger American society.  As long as their respective corporations and multinational companies keep churning money and the employees do not complain too much about their salaries.

Rex Tillerson considered for U.S. Secretary of State

Among his latest pick is Texan Rex Tillerson the CEO of ExxonMobil for U.S. Security of State. The name is appropriate. Rex in Latin means King. Tillerson is no king of the company. He has been with the company all his life from university until now, literally working from the bottom of the company to the top. He started at the company in 1975 when Exxon and Mobil were still two separate entities. While Tillerson might represent the stereotypical Texas oil tycoon minus the cowboy imagery, he insists that he has the business experience that would compensate for his lack of diplomatic skills. He is no George W. Bush Jr either.

Tillerson interview with Charlie Rose 2013

ExxonMobil has experienced a few questionable and outright shady events concerning fracking and pollution in several towns across Louisiana among them Baton Rogue oil refinery fire. It is one of the largest refineries in the United States. Local Baton Rogue environmental groups blamed EXxon's poor facility maintenance as one of the main causes of the refinery fire. Exxon is perhaps still remembered for the ExxonValdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska on Good Friday March 24, 1989. Exxon is not the only big oil company to be blamed for environmental disasters. Colonial Pipeline, the largest oil pipe lining product in the U.S. was also at fault a few months ago for an oil explosion that killed one person and caused damage to Shelby, Alabama. The explosion caused gas prices to spike and the fire lasted for a few days that was finally put out on November 1st. There was also the unforgivable BP (British Petroleum) disaster that affected the poorest states Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana that is still affecting local people. Many families of oil workers and oil spill cleaners are suffering from chemical sickness ranging from rashes, respiratory problems and skin peelings five years later. The fishing businesses and wildlife continue to suffer to this day. Louisiana relies on fishing for its livelhood. Louisiana cuisine is famous for its stews, meats and seafood particulary the crayfish. The oil workers and their families and local people affected by the explosion and pollution will never forget ExxonMobil, BP or Colonial Pipeline.

America's Gulf Oil Spill Cover up Journeyman Pictures (2010)

It's about the Oil Pipelines

The mainstream media networks and geopolitical pundits have only focused on Tillerson's supposed personal connection to Putin. Like Trump, Tillerson is seen as more of "Putin's pick" for U.S. government and not Trump's own choice alone. The pundits wrongly believe and insist to the heavens that Russia is solely responsible for hacking the U.S. elections. That Trump's victory is by default Putin's victory. The accusation alone is mind blowing and makes no sense. It not only brings up the question of why Russia would even want to tamper with U.S. elections to point of assuring Trump victory. But the whole "Russia hacked the U.S. elections" is not true. There is no evidence for it. It is true that Russia is perhaps one of the few countries that doesn't annoy Trump. The president elect has a quite relaxed attitude to Russia in general. Tillerson also appears to be chilled in his previous oil dealings with Russia. He is a businessman by trade and like Trump, Tillerson understands the importance of putting business before anything else. He's been doing it most of his life. Being a petroleum industry insider Tillerson will tend to do business with countries that have lucrative oil pipelines flowing with sweet crude. Russia has access to the strategic oil pipelines in Baku, Azerbaijan and Turkey Cephan pipeline. Plus Russia has one of the largest oil companies Gazprom exporting oil to most of Europe. This includes Gazprom's oil exports to Western Europe too. If anything Tillerson would want to avoid the geopolitics and turn a deaf ear to foreign policy criticisms to keep ExxonMobil's trade deals with Russian oil companies intact. He is not the first or last oil CEO to do so. Tillerson's final hurdle before he even sets foot at the Department of State will be to pass the senate confirmations in January. If he survives that, he'll be on his way to being secretary of state. If he is not picked, the victims of oil spills and refinery explosions will be relieved.


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