Rex Tillerson 'used email alias' at Exxon to talk climate change

Posted March 17, 2017

The office of Eric Schneiderman revealed the unorthodox arrangement in a letter sent to a NY state judge on Monday that also accused Exxon of failing to produce documents related to an investigation into whether the company misled investors over climate change.

"Mr. Tillerson, now the US secretary of state, used the pseudonym "Wayne Tracker" from at least 2008 to 2015, according to the attorney general".

Exxon Mobil confirmed the secondary email account and stressed that it was not used exclusively for climate change matters, saying in a statement it was used for "a broad range of business-related topics".

The alias was discovered during an investigation into the company to determine whether it misled investors about climate change.

Company Alan Jeffers added that the account was "mostly used while he [Tillerson] was traveling to ensure he'd see an item in a secure and timely way without having to sort through his regular email inbox, which could contain many items".

Jeffers said the company had provided 2.5 million pages of documents in response to a subpoena from Schneiderman's office and would respond to the claims in the letter in court filings.

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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.

Use of the email alias was seized upon by environmentalists on Tuesday, who said it revealed a pattern of deception. It asked the judge to order Exxon to explain whether documents from the "Wayne Tracker" email and 34 additional accounts assigned to other Exxon executives and board members had been preserved.

In December, Exxon hit a snag in its legal fight to derail the investigations on the company's home turf, when U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade canceled the deposition of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who'd been ordered to appear in Dallas to be questioned under oath by Exxon's lawyers. On Monday, it said: "ExxonMobil believes the risk of climate change is clear and warrants action".

Exxon denied trying to hide anything.

The case is People of the State of New York v PricewaterhouseCoopers and Exxon Mobil Corporation, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 451962/2016.