Saturday, December 10, 2016

Trump Wants Exxon CEO as Secretary of State

President elect Donald Trump will name Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of State.  For decades American foreign policy has been driven by oil and wars. 

Tillerson stated in 2006 when Congress considered repealing tax breaks

"I think the bigger concern I have is not so much the economic direct effect of the fact that they want to take a tax break off here or there. But it's the message it sends the rest of the world that you don't have to provide stable (regulatory) frameworks, and if that happens, none of us are going to be able to take the risk in this business." 
At the time Exxon had $37.3 billion in cash.  Today cash is down to $3 billion in the wake of declining oil prices.

Tillerson spoke to the Council on Foreign Relations in 2012:  He said:

And yet the United States today remains the third-largest oil producer in the world, second only to Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Similarly on the natural gas side, United States, given the seasonality of the year, at any time is either the world's largest natural gas producer or the second-largest natural gas producer.  We go back and forth with Russia.
So it's my hope that at some point energy security can become a policy issue in our foreign policy discussions with Mexico, Canada and the United States. Between the three of our countries today, we produce 15 million barrels of oil a day. That is a force to be dealt with in global oil markets. Our expectation by the year 2020 is that North America will be producing 18 million barrels a day, and there is more capacity in the system to go beyond that, and to go beyond it at even potentially a faster rate.. 
Backing up corporate titan Rex Tillerson at State will be neocon John Bolton.  Are more wars over oil in our future?   Bolton had a role in Iraq and I'm sure he was ecstatic over Libya.  

Trump's appointment of Tillerson means a tax free sale of his over $150 million in Exxon stock.  That's a $20 to $30 million benefit to a CEO nearing retirement. 

Ten years after complaining about the elimination of a tax break Tillerson may get a huge personal one, courtesy of Donald Trump.