Fraud Probe Uncovers Secret Tillerson Emails on Climate Change

Tillerson, now U.S. Secretary of State, used the name Wayne Tracker for his secondary internal email account at Exxon, created for sending the most sensitive messages to and from company board members, including communications about the risks associated with climate change, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Monday.

When the NY state A.G. subpoenaed the company for documents related to Exxon executives, Mr. Tracker's emails were left out.

The emails were pertinent to an investigation into whether Exxon misled its investors and the public at large about what the company knew about climate change, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Tillerson used the pseudonym Wayne Tracker in email exchanges discussing climate change and its potential impacts on his company, the NY attorney general's office wrote in a letter to Judge Barry Ostrager Monday (March 13).

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland during an official visit to Washington on on February 8, 2017.

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ExxonMobil produced roughly 60 documents from the "Wayne Tracker" account, but Schneiderman says it never disclosed that this had been Tillerson's account.

Darren Woods, who succeeded Tillerson as Exxon's CEO in January, does not use an email alias, nor does any other Exxon employee, Jeffers said. Tillerson, whose middle name is Wayne, used the Wayne Tracker account on the Exxon system from at least 2008 through 2015, Schneiderman said. 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. Jamie Henn, speaking on behalf of environmental group 350.org posed the question, "if they had nothing to hide, then why the secret email account?"

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

The email alias was Wayne.Tracker@ExxonMobil.com. It also asks the court to schedule a conference to ensure that Exxon complies with the subpoena, and says Tillerson's email pseudonym "lends additional urgency" to this request.

The company also said it "believes the risk of climate change is clear and warrants action". Shortly afterwards, based on the same legal theory, the OAG launched its investigation into Exxon.

  • Rita Burton