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Exxon’s Tillerson urged to testify on constitutional climate case

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Linus Unah – Fourth Estate Contributor

Eugene, OR, United States (4E) – Exxon Mobil chief executive officer Rex Tillerson seems be coming under heavy scrutiny since he has tapped as the next U.S. secretary of state.

Incoming President Donald Trump nominated Tillerson to join his administration early this month.

Lawyers representing 21 U.S. teens in a federal climate suit Thursday urged Tillerson to testify on climate change issues following allegations by the teens that their constitutional rights have been violated.

The lawyers want him to testify before the inauguration over claims that there was a “fundamental constitutional right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life.”

A notice for his testimony was served on Sidley Austin, the law firm representing American Petroleum Institute (API), National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers ( AFPM ).

Tillerson serves on the board of API and he and other Exxon executives also serve on the board of NAM, according to lawyers at Our Children’s Trust

“As CEO of ExxonMobil, Tillerson has unique personal knowledge of the fossil fuel industry’s historical relationship with the federal government,” the lawyers said in a statement.

“The youth plaintiffs seek to prove these trade associations have known about the dangers of climate change since the 1960s and have successfully worked to prevent the government from taking the necessary steps to fully address climate change.”

One of the youth Alex Loznak , 19, said he was surprised when students at Columbia Journalism School “uncovered ExxonMobil’s deep knowledge of climate change as early as the 1970s.”

In 2014, graduate students at Columbia University’s journalism school worked with the Los Angeles Times to investigate Exxon records over claims that the company’s scientists knew about global warming after years of leading climate research.

Tillerson has also come under fire over worries that he has close ties with Russia.

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